Cold spell bottoms out later this week

Shawn Hardy
Jamie Souders and Ben Byers of GW Electric, taking down the Christmas lights around Center Square, stay warm with long Johns and coffee, while letter carrier Jim Barnes walks faster and wears a couple of coats. Already low temperatures are expected to drop even more later this week, with a wind chill factor below zero. SHAWN HARDY/ECHO PILOT

What goes up, must come down.

Temperatures that peaked near 60 degrees on Dec. 19 will bottom out this weekend with the wind making it feel like 20 to 30 degrees below zero.

It’s been down hill ever since the warm wave from Dec. 16 to 23, which saw a high of 59 degrees on Dec. 19, according to Greencastle weather observer Robert Wertime.

December-like temperatures returned for Christmas, accompanied by a few flurries in some locations, and the mercury really hasn’t risen above freezing since Dec. 26, according to Wertime, who’s recorded overnight lows in the teens and single digits.

High winds have added to the equation some days, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph on Christmas Day, 25 mph, plus or minus, on Dec. 30 and 15 to 30 mph on New Year’s Day.

After a moderate break Wednesday, a huge ocean storm off the coast will drag Arctic air down from Canada, according to Paul Head, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College.

The area will not see the snow the storm with bring farther east and into New England, but will feel its intensity with a lot of wind.

Winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph will make it feel like 15 below zero Thursday night. Temperatures aren’t expect to rise above 10 degrees on Friday, with the wind chill factor putting them at 20 to 30 below.

Winds will die down Friday night, but the temperature will drop to around zero, according to Head. It will still be blustery on Saturday and, with clear skies temperatures in the valleys could drop to 10 below zero Saturday night.

A warming trend starts with a high around 25 Sunday and temperatures will be above freezing by Monday afternoon.