So Cold: Records Could Fall As Region Endures More Frigid Temperatures

January 31, 2019
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So Cold: Records Could Fall As Region Endures More Frigid Temperatures

Northeast Pennsylvania will experience one more day and night of extreme cold before temperatures start moderating into the weekend.

Here are some cold weather observations as you contemplate whether to venture outside:

Going low

Today’s high temperature will probably be one for the record books.

AccuWeather is predicting a high today of 9 degrees, and the National Weather Service forecast calls for a high of 10. Either way, it would be the coldest high temperature — officially known as the low maximum — ever recorded locally on Jan. 31.

The current low maximum for the date is 14 degrees in 1920, according to weather service records.

Of course, the wind will continue to make it feel much colder, especially this morning. Wind chill values will be below zero throughout the day despite mostly sunny skies, AccuWeather meteorologist Paul Walker said.


A wind chill warning issued by the National Weather Service is in effect for Northeast Pennsylvania through 6 p.m.

The low tonight will be around 1 before temperatures rebound into the high teens on Friday, Walker said.

Single-digit highs

If the high does not climb out of the single digits today, it will be the second time in 11 days that has happened.

On Jan. 21, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, the temperature at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport peaked at 9 degrees.

Daily high temperatures in the single digits are fairly unusual locally. There have only been nine this century, and four of those were in 2004.

Days with subzero highs — something many locations in the Midwest are experiencing this week — are almost unheard of here. In fact, there has been only one since record-keeping began in 1901. It happened Jan. 19, 1994, when the temperature at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton airport topped out at minus 2 degrees.

Embrace the positive

The average high temperature at the airport for Jan. 31 is 34 degrees — the lowest the average sinks all winter — and a positive sign for local residents who are growing weary of winter is the average ticks up a degree to 35 on Feb. 1. By the end of February, the normal high is 41.

However, there’s also this.

Spring is only 48 days away.

And, just over five months from now, the area will enter what is historically the hottest time of the year — a 24-day period from mid-July through August when the average daily high is 83 degrees.

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