Ph.D. Student - Earth System Science (UC Irvine), B.Sc. - Atmospheric Sciences (Cornell University)
By: Zachary Labe , 2:59 PM GMT on December 31, 2007
Well this is going to be quite a lake effect snow outbreak for many areas across Pennsylvania. Also as of 100pm the cold front is headed into the Susquehanna Valley. As the front moves through it will get windy with falling temperatures and some areas may even see a snow squall associated with it.
Winter Storm Warning...
Erie Coastal Plain
Snow and Blowing Snow Advisory...
Pittsburgh Metro Area
Lake Effect Snow Analysis...
Well what an outbreak I think is going to happen. For one thing Lake Erie is still relatively mild for this time of year with little ice coverage. Another point is we are going to get hit with the coldest air so far this season. Also the air is not that dry so squalls will be able to develop. Another point is that the lake effect will be enhanced by the clipper and a few minor disturbances moving through the region. It appears the worst of the snow will be during the day on Wednesday. Also temperatures will be well below freezing across the entire state of Pennsylvania. So even light snow will stick to the ground. Winds will be out of the northwest and gust to up to 30mph at times tonight and tomorrow. This we draw lake effect snow to even areas east of the mountains. I would not be surprised to see lake effect snow showers all the way to Philadelphia. Now lets talk accumulations... Well I would say the worst of the snow will be in the laural highlands, northwest mountains, and erie coastal plain. Some of the higher elevations in those regions may see over a foot of snow by Thursday morning. Elevations at or above 2000ft could see accumulations of 10-16inches in localized areas. This will be great for the ski resorts such as Blue Knob. Also watch out for accumulations around 6inches for the valleys of those tall mountains. Towns such as Indiana, Latrobe, Johnstown, Bradford, Erie, and Somerset will probably see accumulations of 6-8inches. Although some of those places may see more. Now for areas near Du Bois in the westcentral mountains may see advisory level accumulations of around 3-6inches. Though I think maybe even more than that is possible. For areas near State College and Williamsport, they will even probably see 2-3inches of snow too. The lake effect snow will be widespread with it mostly being large plums of snow and cellular. In the large plums there could be imbeded heavy banding. In this banding is where accumulations will be heaviest with snow rates near 2-3inches per hour. Pittsburgh will also probably see 2-4inches of snow too. Now for areas just east of the mountains such as Harrisburg. They too may see a coating to 2inches of snow if the banding sets up. For southern areas such as York and Lancaster it appears they will only see a coating of snow. And Philadelphia just flurries. Also some Huron-Erie streamers could form and they could cause the classic rt22 lake effect snow band. So for areas from Philipsburg to State College to Lewistown to Harrisburg. This will be something to watch. For northeastern areas such as near Scranton and the poconos accumulations will be around 1-3inches and this will be from lake effect snow from Lake Ontario. The lake effect snow will wrap up by Thursday Morning. So if you must travel tomorrow across Pennsylvania take it easy because visibilities could go down to zero if you get caught in a squall. Be careful traveling on the PA turnpike and I-80 especially.
I will have updates on the lake effect snow throughout the outbreak in which I will highlight where the banding sets up and who will see the highest snow amounts.
Update as of 730pm...
Well as of now the lake effect snow is not too widespread just quite yet across the state. Though snow reports of over 3inches have already come in across Warren County. Right now it appears the heaviest bandings is near Clarion and Du Bois. Also north of Pittsburgh is a intense band stretching into Indiana, Pennsylvania. As of now the flow has been westerly, but as the night goes on the flow will change to northwestnorth. Then we will see the radar light up across the state. I probably will have another update early tomorrow morning. For now have a great evening!
Update as of 630am...
Well the flow has yet to turn northwesterly. It appears things are calming down. But we may see things light up later today. I have seen snow reports of over 8inches come in already. The front has moved through and it had now squall line like the models predicted. Have a great day!
Have a Happy New Year!
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