Forecasters don’t know everything yet about Tuesday’s winter storm, but they do know this:
The heaviest snow bands have shifted far enough to the south that Tuesday’s morning rush is going to be “a nightmare” in the south central Pennsylvania, so much so that maybe you should try to avoid travelling tomorrow morning at all.
Because of changes in the timing of some atmospheric lows guiding this storm, National Weather Service meteorologist Greg DeVoir told PennLive late Monday morning that the Harrisburg area can now expect snow falling at one to two inches per hour between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. Tuesday.
“If people can avoid travel tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, they should,” DeVoir said. “There’s no way that the road crews can keep up with that rate of snowfall.”
The storm will start with regular rain this evening, but change over to snow sometime between midnight and 2 a.m. But the strongest bands will settle in after 5 a.m.
DeVoir said the way things look now, areas to the north that looked like they were in the center of the storm’s target may now get as little as an inch. Meanwhile, the probability of six inches or more is only increasing for Harrisburg.
The Weather Service has extended its winter storm watch all the way to the Maryland state line, with the heaviest impacts predicted for Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Lebanon and Perry counties. Meanwhilke, watches have given way to warnings in areas like State College, Williamsport and Altoona.
Here’s the good news: It won’t last tremendously long.
DeVoir said the current models show that the heaviest snowfall will ease after 9 a.m. ‚and probably by mid-day “everything’s done.”
Then with Tuesday’s daytime highs projected at 39 degrees, there will be a decent shot for everyone to get dug out, but you may want to take advantage of period as temperatures are expected to dive below freezing Tuesday night, with lows in the upper 20s.