NBC10’s Sosna: Don’t be fooled by ‘January thaw’

Though it might seem impossible now, the Philadelphia region is about to see a big snow melt.

Forecasts say temperatures on Monday, Jan. 8, won’t go over 20 degrees — making this recent deep freeze, with 12 days in a row below 32 degrees, the coldest consecutive stretch recorded since 1982.

It’s also the eighth-longest cold stretch in Philadelphia in recorded history, according to Steven Sosna, a Lansdale, Pennsylvania, native who joined NBC10 as a meteorologist in September 2017.

A storm of sleet and freezing rain is forecast for Monday evening. But for the rest of the week, temperatures are forecast to reach 50 by Thursday and stay there for several days in a “January thaw.”

“Following some of these historically cold winters, you have that elusive January thaw, one or two weeks with a significant break,” Sosna said. “Good chunks of snow will be melted away in the next several days. You’re going to get some dense fog.”

But don’t let the thaw fool you, Sosna said. Based on his readings of ocean oscillations, he opined that another freeze will soon follow the warmer temperatures, a shift he said is not uncommon for the area.

“People shouldn’t get really accustomed to that January thaw, because it most likely will come back in February,” he said. “This pattern may try to cycle back toward us in February, but there’s a level of uncertainty.”

We could even see another bomb cyclone, he said. While last week’s storm was especially severe, bomb cyclones are actually not that uncommon, he said.

“It should have had a different name. It should have been the ‘super-bomb cyclone,'” he said. “It was one of the most impressive storms that we’ve ever measured. But in terms of calling it ‘the’ bomb cyclone — we’ve had numerous bomb cyclones. We could have one a month from now.”

The coming thaw

Monday: H 20, L 14

Tuesday H 34, L 30 

Wednesday: H 41, L 32

Thursday, H 50, 47

Friday, H 55, L 43

Saturday, H 46, L 27

Sunday, H 36, L 22

Source: NBC10

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