Mother Nature didn’t seem like herself Monday.
In springlike conditions more akin to those leading up to Easter than Thanksgiving, the local temperature officially soared to 65, breaking the record for the date set more than a century ago.
According to the Penn State Joel N. Myers Weather Center, which records local weather data, the previous record of 64 occurred in 1896. Bill Syrett, the center’s manager and a senior meteorology lecturer, said an unofficial rooftop thermometer at the center registered 66 during the day.
People could shed their coats, roll up their sleeves and bask in a bizarre, late-November interlude because of a strong low-pressure system to the west that drew southern winds bringing warm air, Syrett said.
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But don’t break out the shorts. A cold front began moving into the area Monday night, returning life to normal for this time of year.
The National Weather Service on Monday issued a winter storm watch for southern Centre County, including State College, from 7 a.m. to late Wednesday evening. The NWS forecast calls for a 70 percent chance of snow.
“The cold front that is coming through (Monday evening) will take this record warmth away, stall off the East Coast, and then a storm will ride up along that on Wednesday,” Syrett said.
According to the NWS, central Pennsylvania could receive 4 to 8 inches of snow. Syrett estimated the precipitation will be more like 2 to 5 inches, mostly from Wednesday afternoon into early Thursday morning.
Monday’s high was an ironic mark, considering that exactly one year ago, the temperature stalled at 23 and set a daily record for frigidity.
And the unseasonable weather was especially strange coming less than a week after a bitter Tuesday dropped the mercury to as low as 18.
“We totally swung around,” Syrett said. “It’s almost 50 degrees warmer than it was six days ago. That’s a big swing for these parts.”