Winter Weather Advisory in Effect -- Again, Snow Emergency Declared, Heating Bills Could Soar
Here it comes again. The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Weather Advisory for State College and much of Central Pennsylvania.
The advisory will remain in effect until 4 p.m. Saturday.
Snow began falling in the early morning hours and is making a mess of area roads. AccuWeather Meteorologist Tom Kines says, "It will be around 3-5 inches of snow. It will taper off later this morning and should be done by the noon hour."
Saturday afternoon Kines expects it to be blustery and cold with temperatures in the 20s.
State College Borough declared a snow emergency for Saturday. It's the second snow emergency in three days.
All vehicles must be removed from public streets until the snowfall has stopped and the streets have been plowed. Cars that are not moved could be towed. Residents are warned that sidewalks must be cleared within 24 hours after the snow stops falling.
A Snow Emergency will also be in effect in Harris Township beginning Saturday at 3 p.m. Cars that are left out on the street may be ticketed.
College Township has also ordered cars off the streets due to the Snow Emergency. Ferguson Township has not issued a formal Snow Emergency but is alerting residents that cars must be removed from streets anytime there is two or more inches of snow.
This latest snowfall comes on the heels of a major winter storm that buried State College under 7-9 inches of snow on Thursday.
If you think we've gotten our fair share of snow this year -- it's not your imagination.
Kines says State College has gotten 44 inches of snow -- so far this winter. Typically, we might see 28 inches of snow by Feb. 15. Why so much more than normal? Chalk it up to the generally cold temperatures. "We've had cold air in place for a good chunk of the winter," says Kines, "so there isn't a changeover to rain."
Kines admits, it's been a wild winter with many storms delivering maximum impact. "Number one, the systems that have brought us snow this winter have all reached their fullest potential. There have been very few weather systems have fallen short of expectations."
Kines says the Penn State campus weather service is reporting that the total amount of snow on the ground right now is 16 inches deep, and that's unusually high. "There's only been a snow depth this deep in 16 winters since 1899. The most recent winters that this occured in were in 1996, 2003 and 2004," says Kines.
"It's pretty impressive. It also shows that temperatures are below normal. It hasn't all been all one big storm."
Speaking of cold temperatures, Kines says that since on Dec. 1, it has been 4.3 degrees colder than normal in State College. But it's been even colder since the new year began. "In month of January we are about seven degrees below normal and that's been the same story in February; about seven degrees below normal," says Kines.
That's going to hit a lot of us in the pocketbook. "For most people, your heating bill should be 15 to 20 percent higher than normal for January and the first half of February," says Kines. "So that's more good news."
And there's even more good news on top of that. "There is the threat of snow Monday night into Tuesday," says Kines. There could certainly be a few inches."
But don't give up hope. "We'll still see a couple of days later next week with temperatures up in the 40's," says Kines. However, "It will probably be accompanied by precipitation."
Click HERE for the latest AccuWeather forecast.