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Wet, Cold Weekend in Forecast, Ski Season Off to Early Start

by on December 03, 2013 12:30 PM

A mild, dry weather pattern in the State College area is expected to change to rain, possibly snow, and colder temperatures this weekend.

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines says a mild weather pattern that includes a fair amount of cloudiness for Tuesday and Wednesday will shift possibly Thursday and more likely Friday as precipitation moves into the area.

“If there’s going to be a so-called lousy day this week it’s probably going to be Friday,” Kines said.

There’s a possibility of a shower on Thursday. Friday will see a lot of rain.

Then, on Friday night, the rain could change to snow and there’s a possibility of a few inches of accumulation.

Early next week, more moisture could occur in the form of snow, ice or rain.

As for temperatures, Wednesday is expected to be in the 40s; Thursday is expected to be in the 50s; and then Friday temperatures will be in the mid to upper 30s. Over the weekend, temperatures will be close to 30.

As for a long range winter outlook, Kines says temperatures and snow accumulation will be around typical levels for the region. A normal snow accumulation is between 40 and 45 inches.

In November, there was an expectation that December temperatures would be higher than normal. However, Kines said an updated forecast indicates temperatures will be closer to normal.

In the beginning of December, normal highs are in the lower 40s and by Dec. 31 the normal high is in the mid 30s.

“I think when it’s all said and done we’re probably going to end up with the temperatures pretty close to normal and snow to normal,” Kines said.

Additionally, a pattern of very cold air currently in the northern Rockies and plains will make its way east putting highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits.

The colder temperatures will help ski areas, like Tussey Mountain, with snow generation. A similar pattern over the Thanksgiving holiday helped ski resorts “get a good jump on the winter season,” Kines said.

Tussey Mountain opened on Black Friday, which is uncommon for the ski resort, according to Project Manager Sarah Becker.

“We’re off to a good start for sure. In the last 25 years we’ve only opened by Thanksgiving three times, so we’re really starting off earlier than normal,” Becker said.

With this week on the warmer side there is some concern of melting. Still, she said colder temperatures later this week will allow for more snowmaking.

The main slope and a beginner hill will be open at Tussey Mountain this weekend.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government. jenn.miller@statecollege.com
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