First it is important to define and explain the differences between weather and climate. Weather refers to short-term atmospheric conditions. For example, if you go outside and it is 50 degrees and cloudy, that is weather. It is what you may see outside on any given day. Climate refers to the weather of an area averaged over a long time period. For example, you would expect high amounts of snowfall in the Northeast in the wintertime because, on average, the Northeast has received high amounts of snowfall each winter. Thus, climate describes the typical or expected weather conditions in an area. Climate change refers to long-term changes in temperature and weather patterns.
Visitors can enjoy the changing weather safely and comfortably throughout the four seasons. In the summer, the daytime highs are generally between 75-85 degrees. On particularly hot days the high may reach into the 90s while on colder days the low may be in the 50s. There is moderately high humidity, occasional thunderstorms, and dense fog. Water temperatures rise from the low 60s to the mid-70s in July. A water temperature of 70-80 degrees is generally comfortable for swimming or other activities where you may get wet like kayaking and canoeing.
The daytime highs are generally between 45-60 degrees throughout the spring and fall but can be variable. It may be warm throughout the daytime, but the temperature can drop rapidly after sunset. Throughout these months, wet suits may be required for river use. In the winter, the air temperature is typically below freezing with frequent snow and ice storms. Water temperatures can drop from the 50s to the 30s by December.
No matter what time of year you are visiting the Upper Delaware Region, it’s essential to plan ahead and be prepared for a variety of conditions that can change rapidly. In most months it may be appropriate to dress in layers and be prepared for rain and cold weather at any time. Boaters and anglers should always be ready for cold water and wear properly fitted life jackets. Hypothermia is possible, especially on the river, even during the summer. Water cools a person much more quickly than air. Appropriate clothing, staying dry, and being active can help combat hypothermia. Indicators of hypothermia include shivering that progressively gets worse, loss of hand-eye coordination, and the inability to do everyday activities like zip zippers. Other indicators are slurred speech, sleepiness, and a decrease in the degree of consciousness.
Visitors should also be cautious of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. These conditions are caused by exposure to high temperatures and humidity, especially when combined with strenuous physical activity. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, dizziness, nausea, a fast and weak pulse, muscle cramps, cool and clammy skin, and fainting. Moving to a cool location, drinking water, and loosening your clothes can help combat heat exhaustion. Severe heat exhaustion might result in a heat stroke, a life-threatening condition when your body temperature is 104 degrees or higher. Symptoms of a heat stroke include a high body temperature, hot and red skin, confusion, dizziness, a fast and strong pulse, and losing consciousness. If you suspect someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and try to move the person to a cooler place to lower their body temperature.
To learn more about the prevention and treatment of hypothermia and heatstroke, visit USCG: Warning Signs of Hypothermia and USCG: Know the Signs of Heatstroke. Additionally, before arriving in the Upper Delaware Region, it’s important to take note of the upcoming weather forecast so you can stay safe and be prepared throughout your visit. You can find a detailed and accurate 7-day forecast at National Weather Service: Lackawaxen, PA.
Last updated: March 22, 2022