Saucon Valley residents got an early taste of spring Wednesday when temperatures reached the upper 60s, with many taking advantage of the warm weather by hitting local trails.
The Saucon Rail Trail, in particular, was a busy with walkers, joggers and bicyclists on Wednesday afternoon. The popular pathway stretches from Bachman Street in Hellertown south to Coopersburg borough, where it connects with the Upper Bucks Rail Trail that extends from the county line to Veterans Park in Richland Township, near Quakertown.
Although Wednesday’s high wasn’t warm enough to topple the record for Feb. 15–a record of 71 degrees set back in 1949–the temperature was about 25 degrees above normal.
That kind of above-normal deviation has been par for the course throughout much of this winter, during which the Lehigh Valley has seen almost no snow and only very brief periods of cold, including one that occurred earlier this month.
Following an Arctic interlude around Christmas, daily temperatures climbed and averaged approximately eight degrees above normal in January. They are also on track to be well above normal in February, despite Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction that Pennsylvanians would experience typically cold, snowy conditions until winter’s official end in late March.
Nobody who was out and about on Wednesday seemed bothered by the renowned groundhog’s apparently misguided prediction, as thoughts turned toward all of the outdoor opportunities that await once warmer weather is here to stay.
In the near future, there will be one more day of well above average temperatures before the mercury starts to fall on Friday. However, once again, the cold that will follow is predicted to be short-lived. According to the latest National Weather Service forecast for the Lehigh Valley, following a low of 22 degrees Friday night temperatures will rebound to the low 40s on Saturday and the low 50s by Sunday and Monday, which is Presidents Day.