Temperatures will hover around 50 degrees this weekend, no doubt a welcome change from the cold, snowy weather of weeks past.

But with milder temperatures could come rapid melting of the frosty piles covering York County. Potential rain showers Friday and Sunday could speed up the process even more.

Residents should neither panic nor ignore the potential for flooding, said Michael Helfrich, a York City councilman who also serves as the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper.

The Codorus Creek is relatively shallow at the moment, Helfrich said.

"As far as the creek flooding in the city, it doesn't look bad right now," he said. "But if we're talking about stuff backing up in some streets and getting into basements, that's where we have an opportunity to get ahead of the game and make sure that the storm drains are cleared."

Folks who live in flood-prone areas should be especially prepared, Helfrich said. Consider moving valuable items from basements and clearing storm drains nearby, he said.

"Unlike some of the storms, we can see that this is coming," he said. "If you make preparations now, it's better to be safe than sorry."

Jim Gross, the city's public works director, said work crews have made sure the most critical inlets and storm drains are cleared.

The forecast: Temperatures in York will reach about 50 degrees Friday, 54 on Saturday, and 50 on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

So the snow is sure to melt, said Elyse Colbert, a meteorologist with the weather service.

"But the ground is going to be able to absorb some of it," Colbert said.


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"We're not really expecting like a high-impact flood event."

However, she said, there is the potential for isolated problems. For example, melting ice can get jammed in rivers and streams, creating a "natural dam."

"Water will back up behind that. You could get some spilling over the banks because of that," Colbert said.

Next week, it's going to cool off again, Colbert said. There is some potential for a few inches of snow Tuesday, she said.

"It looks relatively low impact," Colbert said. "But it's something we're going to keep an eye on."

Out in the cold: While temperatures in York reached record lows this winter, this year has been the fourth warmest January on record globally, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Essentially just the eastern half of the United States was out in the cold. The opposite happened in 2012, when the United States had its warmest year ever and the globe was only the 11th hottest on record.

The scientific group reported Thursday that Earth was 1.17 degrees warmer in January 2013 than the 20th century average. Since records began in 1880, only 2002, 2003 and 2007 started off warmer than this year.

- The Associated Press and staff writer Christina Kauffman contributed to this report. Reach Erin James at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.

The forecast:

York will see showers through the day Friday and possibly a thunderstorm before 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. The high will be 48 and the low 28, and winds will be from the southeast at 9-14 mph. Up to half an inch of rain is possible.

Saturday will be sunny, with a high of 54 and low of 29 and southwest winds of 8-13 mph and gusts up to 21 mph, the forecast said.

Sunday will be mostly cloudy, with a chance of rain and snow showers later in the day, the NWS said. Sunday's high will be 50 and the low 26.

Monday will be sunny, with a high of 36 and low of 20, and there's a chance of snow Tuesday, with a high of 34 and low of 22, the forecast said.

Wednesday will be partly sunny, with a high of 33 and low of 16, the service said.