Winter Ready to Roar Again With Bitter Cold and Threat of Significant Snowstorm
It's the time of year when people start to think about spring.
If that sounds like you -- forget it. Winter isn't done by a long shot.
More intense cold is on the way and a big snowstorm may be in the offing by early next week.
According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines, an arctic front will move through the State College area later Thursday. Temperatures will fall through the afternoon, reaching single digits by tonight.
There is the possibility of some intense snow for 20 minutes or so. "Well see a brief period when it snows pretty hard," says Kines. "The wind will start to howl and temperatures will start to fall."
Visibility could drop to zero when those snow squalls hit later today. PennDot is warning drivers to use caution -- especially on I-99 in Centre County and on I-80 in Centre, Clearfield and Clinton Counties.
"This afternoon and early tonight, with a combination of the wind blowing and temperatures in single digits it's going to feel pretty nasty out there," says Kines.
By late tonight, especially outside of town, it will get down to near zero. "That doesn't happen often at the end of February," Kines adds.
But it's the wind chills that will pack the biggest punch. Kines warns, "This afternoon it's going to feel like 5 below and the first half of tonight before winds settle down were probably talking 10 to 15 below." I suspect at times it will feel like 20 below."
Friday will not be as cold with a high close to 20 degrees. And the weekend doesn't look all that bad. Clouds come back in Saturday, and temperatures should get close to if not above the freezing mark.
Sunday will be a cloudy day and there might be a little bit of snow or sleet around. Temperatures will be in the upper 20s on Sunday.
But after that, winter comes roaring back. "Sunday night into Monday there might be some problems," says Kines. "A system that's moving over the Western Coast right now is going to cause problems for us. Snow, sleet, maybe freezing rain."
What we don't know right now is how much sleet and freezing rain we'll get out of the coming storm. According to Kines, "The more sleet and freezing rain, the less snow there will be. There is the potential for a significant snowfall, five inches or more.
"There's going to be a significant amount of precipitation. The big question is what form the precipitation will take. If it's cold it will fall mainly as snow and we'll probably get a lot of it.
Kines thinks it will take another day or two to see how long the cold air is going to hang on and what sort of a track the storm takes.
Either way, we're looking at either heavy snow, or a mix with sleet and freezing rain that will likely produce slick conditions.
"Pick your poison I guess," says Kines.
It appears that March will come in like a lion. Let's hope it goes out like a lamb.
Click HERE for the latest AccuWeather forecast.