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Riding a weather roller coaster

Published January 29. 2013 05:02PM

Winter in Pennsylvania can be mixed bag of temperatures and precipitation, and this one is no exception.

A frigid weekend gave way to slightly warmer temperatures Monday, bringing a coating of snow and freezing rain that made for treacherous commutes, and likely contributed to the car crash deaths of two people in Carbon County.

The fatal crashes involved an as-yet unidentified young woman who lost control of her car on I-80 in Kidder Township and struck a tractor-trailer. In the other crash, Justin Foley of Weatherly died when he lost control of his car on Route 93 in Nesquehoning, hitting two trees.

There were also other crashes that resulted in injuries to drivers and passengers.

The freezing drizzle lasted until well in the late night hours, turning roads and driveways, mostly in higher elevations, into ice rinks. But this morning's commute was a bit better, even though some rural roads remained icy and slushy, and drivers had to be extra careful due to patches of dense fog. Classes in the Tamaqua Area School District and in Carbon County schools were delayed for two hours to allow rising temperatures to melt any residual ice and slush.

Temperatures are expected to continue to climb today, reaching highs in the mid-40s, although we can expect a few rain showers, too.

The meteorological roller coaster ride ratchets up through Wednesday, with temperatures expected to reach a high of about 57 degrees during the day, then dropping to the low 30s at night. Heavy rain, and perhaps even a thunderstorm, is expected both day and night Wednesday.

But then the descent begins again, with the National Weather Service anticipating daytime highs in the mid-to-upper 30s Thursday, accompanied by some snow showers. Temperatures are expected to dip close to 20 degrees Thursday night, then stay cold.

Friday's forecast is expected to be chilly but dry, with temperatures ranging in the upper 20s during the day and the mid-teens overnight. The weekend is anticipated to bring temperatures in the upper 20s to low 30s during the days, with nights dropping to about 20 degrees.

According to the, the warmest Jan. 30 temperature ever recorded in Allentown was 66 °F in 1947. The lowest temperature on that date was -5 degrees in 1928.

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