A two-day reprieve from below zero wind chills and snow is on the way to thaw out central Pennsylvania.
The hint of spring will be fleeting — bitter cold, freezing rain and snow will return almost as quickly as it left — but it will be a brief opportunity to wear lighter clothing and be outside without the backlash of winter’s worst elements.
High temperatures might reach the low 50s on Thursday and Friday in State College and surrounding communities, though more than a half-inch of rain is forecast on Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
The warmth will likely be welcomed after one of the coldest starts to a new year in State College. The mean temperature has been 11.17 degrees — 16.53 degrees below the 123-year average, according to Penn State Meteorology, making it the second coldest January on record.
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NWS Meteorologist Rob Radzanowski said a front of wind from the southwest will cause temperatures to rise, but Mother Nature will do an about-face late Friday and early Saturday when the temperature will dip below freezing and cause light snow.
“The bigger impact of snow will be further in the northwest part of the state, not so much down here,” Radzanowski said. “We will cool down again to more seasonably cold temperatures.”