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Forecast Discussion for State College, PA

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FXUS61 KCTP 150613

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service State College PA
113 AM EST Thu Nov 15 2018

A significant winter storm system will move into PA for Thursday
and early Friday. Expect a variety of wintry precipitation to
fall, with the heaviest snow and sleet over the northern and
central mountains. Freezing rain may build a glaze of ice over
much of the area as well. Blustery and much below normal
temperatures will continue into early next week.


Watching for any major changes to the going forecast late
tonight in the calm before the storm, and not seeing any
compelling reason for change at this time. Thick mid to high
clouds associated with impressive baroclinic leaf from the
developing winter storm over Tennessee River and Lower Ohio
Valley continue to stream overhead and will lower and thicken in
the pre dawn hours. Mins should drop into the teens in the
north and 20s elsewhere. The first radar returns will likely be
over the SW a few hours before daybreak, but likely remain aloft
until it can moisten things up in the lower layers. Onset of
precip should be right about sunrise on Mount Davis.

No changes at this time to overall forecast package and amounts.
A look at model forecast soundings during the day Thursday
indicate saturated isothermal profiles hugging the zero line for
several thousand feet for much of the afternoon and evening
across the Central Mountains. The mix with sleet is the wildcard
for amounts, and any waggle or reduction to the warm layer will
result in more or less sleet, and less or more snow
respectively. Amounts look good for now, as latest prob
exceedences for higher amounts have actually dropped by 5
percent since this afternoon. confidence for mostly snow is
highest across the north where less QPF is expected. Potpourri
of precip types will greatly limit snow/sleet accums over
Adams/Lancaster/York Counties Thursday and Thursday night.



Winter Storm Warnings for most and Advisories for the rest
remain in effect. Most of the Susq Valley and Poconos are in the
warning due to expected timing and impacts. This is the first
storm of the season and travel may be greatly impacted. The
expected precip type is a snow- sleet mix at first and then some
freezing rain or drizzle before a last gasp as predominantly
snow. The heaviest of the mix of precipitation looks like it
will occur over those Susq Valley counties during the middle of
the day and early evening. This would impact the rush hour and
lots of major transportation/interstate corridors.

Deep upper low over the central US will slide east and interact
with very thick feed of moisture. The main low will develop on
the Atlantic Coast near CHS overnight, and move up to ACY by
midnight Thursday night. This classic set up for snow in Central
PA is going to be odd for the fact that the sea surface temps
are likely much above normal and warm air comes in well-aloft.
Temps on mdl soundings dance around the 0C line, and precip type
is going to be crazy complicated.

Timing for the initial burst of warm advection/TROWAL-associated
precip will be during the morning. Likely a west to east band of
heavy snow and/or sleet will slide steadily northward thru the
CWA. Expect the precip to begin along the MD border around or
just after sunrise, then get into the nrn mtns around or just
after noon.

A change to ZR is likely for at least a short time over much of
the area. The most likely location to have a sig ice build up
is the Laurel mtns. The least likely is the nrn mtns. The SErn
counties will probably warm up just enough to make rain for the

The upper low passes right overhead Thurs night. This will
likely result in a deformation band on the western side to the
low, oriented N to S and moving to the east. The band may drop
the heaviest snow of the event over the NW half of the area
later Thurs night. This feature may end up changing the precip
back to snow before ending in the far SE.


Broad upper level long-wave trough will continue over the east
with some fast moving disturbances keeping chances for snow
showers across the north along with lake enhancement into early
next week. High pressure will build in mid week with cold and
dry weather region-wide.



High pressure over the area tonight will keep conditions VFR
ongoing through 12Z as light winds turn from NE to SE and
increase to around 10 mph.

A significant winter storm will affect the area Thursday into
Thursday night. Snow or a wintry mix of snow/sleet/freezing rain
will reach JST-AOO shortly after sunrise and continue to spread
northward reaching IPT-BFD by early afternoon.

Expect rapid deterioration to IFR conditions as the
precipitation overspreads the region, continuing into at least
Friday morning.

A prolonged period of freezing rain/drizzle is possible from
over southern terminals after 21Z.


Fri...Snow/wintry mix ending west to east early. Then scattered
snow showers MVFR/IFR ceilings afternoon into the overnight
over the west.

Sat-Sun...Mainly VFR. MVFR with snow showers NW.

Mon...No sig wx.


Winter Storm Warning from 10 AM this morning to 8 AM EST
Friday for PAZ005-006-010>012-037-041-042-045-046-049>053-058.
Winter Storm Warning from 8 AM this morning to 6 AM EST Friday
for PAZ017>019-025>028.
Winter Storm Warning from 6 AM this morning to 6 AM EST Friday
for PAZ024-033>035.
Winter Storm Warning from 8 AM this morning to 8 AM EST Friday
for PAZ036-056-057-059-063.
Winter Weather Advisory from 8 AM this morning to 8 AM EST
Friday for PAZ064>066.
Winter Weather Advisory from 10 AM this morning to 8 AM EST
Friday for PAZ004.


NEAR TERM...Dangelo/DeVoir
SHORT TERM...Dangelo
LONG TERM...Lambert/Gartner

Previous Forecast Discussions may be found at
NWS State College, PA (CTP) Office Forecast Discussions.
(Click 'Previous Version' there to view past versions successively.
Some may differ only in time posted.)

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