Record-Breaking Cold Grips Region After 1st Flakes Fall

Record cold hit Wednesday morning in some neighborhoods as an Arctic blast grips the Philadelphia region

What to Know

  • The NBC10 First Alert Weather Team issued a First Alert for biting cold that will last until Thursday morning.
  • Temps on Wednesday morning felt around zero or in the teens as record cold gripped the region.
  • Temps around or below freezing remain in place for more than 24 hours.

A blast of cold air has sent temperatures plummeting well below freezing. The mercury has dipped so low in some neighborhoods that record lows have fallen.

The NBC10 First Alert Weather Team has issued a First Alert for bitter cold that lasts until Thursday morning.

The Arctic blast comes on the heels of a drastic temperature drop that brought the first snowflakes of the season to some neighborhoods Tuesday. 

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Here's what you can expect from the cold. 

Record-Breaking Cold

Frigid air gripped the region Wednesday after temperatures dipped by more than 20 degrees through the day Tuesday.

The record low temperature in Philadelphia on Wednesday was 24 degrees, set back in 1996. Philly broke that record with a temperature of 23 degrees. Philly also tied the low of 26 degrees (set in 1976) for Tuesday just before midnight.

Think 24 degrees is cold? The low is Mount Pocono dropped to 13 degrees, just missing a record.

Records lows fell or were tied, however, in Allentown (tied at 18 degrees), Atlantic City (broken at 21) and Reading (broken at 19). A 99-year-old record for cold fell in Trenton where they dropped to 21 degrees.

The average high this time of the year is in the mid to upper 50s.

Be sure to bundle up when you head outside and remember that the unusual cold can also be tough on your pets. 

The high on Wednesday got into the 30s in many neighborhoods, but winds made it feel even colder. Wind chills lingered in the 20s or teens despite the sun shining during the day. 

Temps will drop into the 20s in Philadelphia and the teens in many suburbs Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

By Thursday, temperatures will warm above the freezing mark with highs expected in the low to mid 40s for most neighborhoods.

First Flakes Fell

As temperatures dropped on Tuesday, many neighborhoods saw rain change over briefly to snow.

The first places to get snowflakes were the Lehigh Valley, Berks County and northern and western suburbs. Snow then moved into Philadelphia and points south and east in the late morning.

Snowflakes in many neighborhoods fell before the temperature dropped below freezing. The snowfall looked worse to the eye than the impact it had on people going about their routines.

The snow accumulation wasn't significant, however as much of it melted as it hit the warmer ground. Snow did, however, stick to colder surfaces like parked cars and grass in some places.

Snow had ceased in Philly by early afternoon. All the wet weather pushed out of the region before the afternoon and evening ride home.

Get the latest on the bitter cold by downloading the NBC10 app and watching the latest First Alert Weather reports on NBC10 News.

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