Thaw continues as temps approach 60

Tuesday’s balmy weather melted much of the region’s snow and also encouraged residents to hang up their winter coats and hats for the day.

The “January thaw” is expected to last through today. But residents shouldn’t get too comfortable – snow is likely to return as early as overnight.

Accuweather Expert Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek said some winters seem to be “just cold, cold, cold” but a few days’ stretch of warmer weather is not uncommon.

Dombek said as cold as it was last week, with temperatures struggling to get out of the mid-teens, it’s no wonder some may have thought about looking through their summer wardrobe for clothes once temperatures broke into the 30s.

“If it was 58 degrees in June or July it would feel cold,” he said. “It’s all relative to what you’ve been used to.”

The record high for Jan. 29 was set in 2002 at 64 degrees, Dombek said, with Tuesday’s high climbing only to 58 degrees between 3 and 4 p.m.

Still, other years the day’s high might have been 10 or 15 degrees, he said, so even without a record high temperature it’s something of which people took note.

Nicolas Chism, 6, Kayla Mainor, 11, and Tyler Mainor, 9, took advantage of snow-free streets and sidewalks in Hollidaysburg by breaking out scooters, bikes and a football to race around the neighborhood.

Nicolas said he hadn’t been able to play with his friends for a few weeks and was happy to be outside.

Kayla said she missed having outdoor recess, with last week’s frigid temperatures keeping pupils inside for study hall. While she likes winter, she said she prefers spring and wishes it would stay warm “forever.”

Her younger brother, Tyler, said he was just glad he gets to be outside doing what he likes most: playing with friends.

People shouldn’t hang up their shovels just yet, Dombek said.

“You know it’s not going to last because normal temperatures are way lower than that” so going back into a freezing period will be that much more of a “cold slap in the face.”

According to the National Weather Service, Wednesday will be unseasonably warm with the high expected to reach 59 degrees and a near 100 percent likelihood of rain with a chance of thunderstorms.

It should cool off in the evening with lows in the upper 20s and a change to snow or rain after midnight.

Thursday there is a 40 percent chance of snow showers with highs in the lower 30s dipping into the low 20s by evening.

Friday’s and Saturday’s highs will be in the 20s, with a 40 percent chance of snow both days.

Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.