Move over 1985.
Lehigh Valley International Airport on Thursday established a new record high temperature for the date: 72, set at 4:40 p.m., according to National Weather Service meteorologist Walter Drag. That bests the 1985 mark of 71.
Mid-May is when normal high temperatures hit 71 in the Lehigh Valley.
On the heels of 23 consecutive months of above-average temperatures, the Lehigh Valley is on pace for the warmest February since record-keeping began in 1922, he said.
"It's highly likely," Drag said.
February is averaging 38.9 degrees, besting the previous high average temperature of 38.6 set in 1998. The normal average temperature for February is 30.7.
"The season ranking for Allentown will the fifth-warmest winter on record," Drag said, again referring to records dating to 1922. "And that won't slip. ... If anything, it might go warmer."
Why the heat's been on for 2 years
It's not looking like Friday's high at the airport, forecast at 71, will be enough to match the record high for the date of 76, also set in 1985, but Saturday will have a chance at the 1930 record high of 74, Drag said.
Saturday also brings the likelihood of a brief heavy shower, possibly a thunderstorm, with gusty winds of 30 to 40 mph, according to the weather service.
"Then it'll start cooling down," Drag said, pointing to "much, much cooler" air on Sunday, with a seasonable high forecast of 44 and a nighttime low of 29 at the airport.
Monday and Tuesday mark the return of unseasonably warm air, with daytime highs in the mid-50s both days.
Kurt Bresswein may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @KurtBresswein. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.
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