The weird weather could be coming to an end this week, returning the region to an active average as March unfolds, a meteorologist said.
But that's not before we get one last blast of the odd, said Sam DeAlba from the WeatherWorks headquarters in Hackettstown.
February looks like it's going to go into the books as the warmest February since Lehigh Valley records began to be recorded in the 1920s. Entering Monday, the average temperature for the month was 38.9 degrees, edging out 1998's 38.6 degrees, according to National Weather Service figures at Lehigh Valley International Airport.
With forecast highs of 52 on Monday and 62 on Tuesday, the average high is likely to go up rather than down.
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And that follows the seventh warmest January and a run of 23 out of 24 months with above average-average temperatures.
Then comes Wednesday with a forecast high of 72 degrees -- 5 degrees above the 1972 record high for the date and near 30 degrees above the average high of 44.
After that, the temperature will take a swan dive.
Anyone who was outside Saturday afternoon has a pretty good idea what's coming Wednesday.
"We were actually talking about it could be carbon copy of what just happened," DeAlba said. "... It's going to be an unsettled week."
A cold front will pass through later in the rainy day, bringing the chance once again of thunderstorms, he said. The storms could be "strong to severe" with damaging winds, the weather service said.
"It certainly is abnormal," he said of the rough weather. "... It's not completely unheard of."
It was almost exactly a year ago that a tornado touched down in northeastern Pennsylvania, he said.
Saturday featured possible tornadoes in the Lancaster area and northeastern Pennsylvania, he said.
Storms ripping through the Lehigh Valley and into northwest New Jersey did considerable damage, but did not include tornadoes, officials said.
After Wednesday's storms, Thursday should dawn windy, DeAlba said. And then Friday it shouldn't reach 40 degrees, the weather service said.
And here's a change. Expect March to be normal, DeAlba said.
"Averages are kind of the middle ground between highs and lows," he said. "Sometimes you're going to hit averages."
There could even be a bit of snow on Friday, he said.
The changeover to spring was simply in a hurry this year, he said.
"This transition is occurring a little bit early," he said.
March tends to be a month of change, leaving behind winter and typically introducing spring.
"The odds are, we're hedging more on the normal side of things but active," he said. "We're not totally writing off winter -- one or two more winter-type events (could occur) through the middle of March."
So it could be stormy, but focus on normal.
"I don't think we'll see way above normal temperatures" for the month, he said. "But I don't think they'll plunge to see sub-normal temperatures" either.
In other words, average.
Now there's a change.
Tony Rhodin may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TonyRhodin. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.
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