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The tree-lined Locust Walk on the University of Pennsylvania campus is one of the city’s most pleasant spaces, with gothic ivy-covered red brick buildings dating back to the late 1800s. Home to Penn and Drexel University, West Philadelphia is known as the region’s hub for education and science, but its restaurants, shops, museums, galleries, parks and (especially) its residents make the neighborhood feel like one big, culture-heavy town. Credit: Photo by J. Fusco for GPTMC , Photo by J. Fusco for GPTMC

This past week, Philadelphia has been engulfed by record warmth with temperatures soaring into the mid-80’s. That’s almost unheard of for this time of year, especially when the average high temperature is in the low-60’s. 

To give you a perspective of how wildly our weather has changed over the last week, last weekend, temperatures were in the 30’s while 2 days later, we saw sunny and humid conditions accompanied by record-heat. This was all a result of a large high pressure system that parked itself over the Southeastern United States. As a result, it pumped very warm air from the south into our area during the week, which led to temperatures we will not see for a very long time.

This weekend, however, brought our weather pattern back to normal as a cold front moved from west to east across the country, providing us with more October-like weather. This cooled to the low-60’s and high-50’s, so instead of wearing gym shorts and a dry-fit to class, you might want to throw on a sweatshirt instead this week. 

It will definitely feel like winter is fast approaching, especially next week because we may even see below average temperatures with the approach of another high pressure system that will drop down from the north this time, supplying our region with cooler air rather than Florida-like humidity. In fact, I wouldn’t rule out our first frost some time later in the work week as low temperatures may dip to the freezing point come Thursday.