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UPDATE: Major Blizzard to (Mostly) Miss State College, Wreak Havoc Southward

by on January 22, 2016 6:00 AM
State College, PA

Update (2:11 p.m.): The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory that will be in effect from 10 p.m. tonight to 4 p.m. Saturday for State College. The NWS is calling for snow accumulations from two to five inches for the borough. The forecast says that snow will begin on Friday night, with the heaviest precipitation coming on Saturday morning before the storm tapers off on Saturday afternoon.

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Forget about stocking up on milk and bread.

The major blizzard that's projected to wreak havoc on the East Coast will -- for the most part -- miss State College.

While parts of Pennsylvania to the south will likely get a foot of snow or more dumped on them, State College will only see a few inches starting tonight and heading into Saturday afternoon.

"It still looks like we're on the northern fringe of the snow," said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Bob Smerbeck. "One to three inches should hold for State College. It'll start Friday evening and eventually taper off Saturday evening."

Smerbeck said the snow will begin at around 7 p.m. tonight, adding that travel will be fine before then but he advises against doing any driving south of State College after that.

He said that there's a steep gradient in projected snow accumulation from State College to the southern border of Pennsylvania, ranging from the one-to-three inch range in Centre County to a projected 12 inches down below. 

Anything below the Mason Dixon line -- meaning Maryland, northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Delaware -- is in for a rough couple days. Smerbeck said that south central Pennsylvania near the Maryland border could get more than a foot. Philadelphia is forecasted to get about 12 inches. Baltimore and Washington D.C. are in for one to two feet. 

"Those big metropolitan areas are going to get smashed," he said. "They'll see 40-plus miles per hour winds, bad visibility, and some blizzard conditions. I wouldn't even recommend traveling down there."

And while State College is only projected to get a few inches in a worst case scenario, that doesn't mean there won't slippery conditions on local roads.

"You’ll have to drive slow around State College and take it easy if we do get a few inches, but it won’t be the same kind of crippling snow they’ll get south of here," Smerbeck said.

Governor Tom Wolf gave an address yesterday -- declaring a state of emergency and warning Pennsylvanians to be prepared for the worst, but adding that there's no reason to worry.

"We are urging Pennsylvanians to stay calm, but be prepared," Wolf said. "State agencies are preparing for the worst, tracking conditions in real time and collaborating on our response. Residents should prioritize their safety and heed all warnings from law enforcement and emergency officials."



Zach Berger is the managing editor of StateCollege.com. He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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