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Article Archive >> Winter Tourism

Winter in Pennsylvania

Winter in Pennsylvania

Although the average climate of Pennsylvania is usually described as 30 F in winter, a true average climate for the state does not exist. This is because Pennsylvania actually has five temperature zones from the Maryland border north to Canada via Lake Erie. So the average temperature in one part of the state may be considered an extreme a few mountains and valleys away.
Pennsylvania has a continental climate, characterized by large temperature differences between the summer and winter months. The state is subject to influences by interior continental air masses as well as by air masses from the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The average annual temperature ranges from 8.3 C (47 F) in the N central part of the state to 13.9 C (57 F) in the SE. The growing, or frost-free, season varies from 130 days in the N to 170 or more days in the SE. The average annual precipitation in the state is about 1067 mm (about 42 in). Although relatively well distributed throughout the year, precipitation is slightly greater in the spring and summer months. Between about 762 and 1372 mm (about 30 and 54 in) of snow falls annually, with maximums in the Allegheny Mts. and along Lake Erie. Five or six tornadoes are recorded each year but do relatively minor damage.
The lowest temperature recorded in Pennsylvania was 42 below zero. This temperature was hit on Jan 5, 1904 at Smethport.

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