Colder start to fall doesn't mean harsh winter for York
York County's chilly weekend doesn't mean locals should expect a harsh winter.
The low of 24 degrees early Monday morning tied a record low for the date as the season's first freezing temperatures brought an end to the growing season across Central Pennsylvania and the Susquehanna Valley.
Early: "It's a little bit earlier than normal," said National Weather Service meteorologist Craig Evanego of Monday's freeze. "It's maybe about a week and half, maybe two weeks earlier than usual, but it's nothing unheard of."
The chilly weather was due to an area of high pressure overhead, Evanego said, noting that the clear skies and fairly cool air mass allowed temperatures to drop.
"Most of this week will be milder, aside from maybe a cool night or two," he said. "(Monday) will definitely be the coldest."
Forecast: Temperatures will start to climb Tuesday, with a high near 66 and low around 45, and will peak on Wednesday with a high between the upper 60s and low 70s, Evanego said.
"It's looking like it's going to cool down after that," he said. "It's not going to be as chilly as this past weekend though."
Both Friday and Saturday are expected to be mostly sunny, with highs in the mid-50s and lows in the 30s and 40s, respectively. Sunday is expected to be partly sunny with a high in the lower 60s and a low in the 40s.
Between Monday's freeze and this week's forecast, Evanego could confidently say on Monday: "It's officially time for fall weather here."
Winter: According to the weather service's Climate Prediction Center, York countians can look for a reprieve in the early winter months when comparing with last year's temperatures.
"Chances are it's not going to be as harsh as it was last year, but keep in mind we had a fairly cold winter last year," Evanego said. "When we take the three-month outlook of November, December and January, we see a better than average chance for warmer temperatures in those months, aside from those outstanding cold days that you always get.
"Keep in mind, though, this is only a little bit above what have been normal temperatures in the past."
The jury's still out on this year's potential snowfall, though, Evanego said.
"There's not really a strong trend yet for precipitation," he said. "It looks like right now we can at least expect a milder start to winter though."
— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at firstname.lastname@example.org.