By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE — A frigid blast of Arctic air blanketed the Valley on Thursday, giving residents some of the coldest weather in almost a year.
Temperatures plunged to 6 degrees early in the morning, said Alan Reppert, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, State College. This was the result of a slow moving system that brought wintry mixes of snow, sleet and rain to several eastern states.
But by Thursday evening in Selinsgrove, temperatures had soared to a balmy 31.
Today, Reppert said, “Valley temperatures should reach into the mid- to upper 30s, a somewhat welcome relief for those who recall the mild winter of 2011-12.”
The average U.S. temperature during the 2011-12 winter season was 36.8 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.9 degrees above average and the fourth warmest winter on record, Reppert noted.
Last year, the Valley had 14.1 inches of snow. This year’s snowfall, from November until now, already totals 8.5 inches.
The coldest day of 2012 was Jan. 22, when temperatures fell to 4 degrees.
Twice in the past five years, temperatures dipped below zero.
Reppert said that the current harsh, cold spell was felt throughout the state.
“Much of central Pennsylvania and the upper tier dipped below 10 degrees Thursday morning due to thick snow cover and at least several hours of clear skies, light winds and an arctic air mass,” he said.
Reppert said there is a slight chance of snow on Sunday, “but overall, we expect to see clear skies and cold weather through the weekend.”