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Length of snow dearth in Berks nearing record territory

Some areas of the nation that typically would have some snow by this deep into the cold weather season are still without even the smallest accumulation, and that includes Berks County.

The length of time since the previous measurable snowfall on Feb. 27 is nearing a record at 307 days. But it’ll still be a couple of weeks until the longest stretch on record, 325 days, is in view.

If a pattern flip occurs, there could be plenty of snow by then. But in the near term, the streak will continue for a few days with warm weather records being threatened, according to the forecast.

Berks weather historian Jeffrey R. Stoudt crunched the numbers from U.S. Weather Bureau era and National Weather Service data for Berks and found the 325-day stretch was recent: Jan. 18 to Dec. 9, 2020.

There’s also a 321-day stretch from Feb. 13, 1975, to Jan. 1, 1976, in the midst of the very snowy and cold ’70s that included the global cooling scare. That decade is responsible for many of the cold and snow records in Berks.

The common denominator in the long snowless stretches is the early wrap-up to the prior season. Then it is not unusual for the first snowfall of the next winter in Berks to be after mid-December.

Some spots in Berks had a light but unmeasurable snowfall recently either on Dec. 24 or Dec. 27. Many residents woke Christmas Eve to a coating or a dusting of snow on their vehicles.

The 2019-20 snowfall season was the lightest on record at 3.9 inches. The 2020-21 winter packed a couple of big punches with the last small one on Feb. 27, a bit of an early wrap-up for snowfalls in Berks.

This weekend is expected to feature balmy conditions for the start of January with warmth records threatened, but then there could be a surprise.

“With an invasion of polar air Sunday night, there is a risk of getting a small snow accumulation,” said Stoudt, a retired meteorologist and organizer of the Berks Area Rainfall Networks. “Nothing is definite, so the stretch could continue for at least several days into January.”

Meanwhile, the low temperature of 44 degrees at Reading Regional Airport on Thursday was a date record, knocking off 43 from 1996 for the warmest low for Dec. 30 in the 123-year temperature database.

The warmest low for Dec. 31 is also 43 degrees and that is likely to fall, maybe by several degrees. Highs and lows on Saturday and Sunday are also likely to be threatened with mild conditions and rain expected.

An arctic high pressure system is expected to push the gray away and winterlike conditions will mount a comeback to start the workweek, according to AccuWeather.

Source: Berkshire mont

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