ROUND ONE OF WINTER WEATHER: Snow showers will overspread the area through the rest of Sunday evening. Snow flurries are already falling in Franklin county as of 5 PM and will continue to become more widespread. The best chance for periods of steady and even moderate snow will be between 10 PM Sunday and 3 AM Monday. Accumulating snow will be likely with this first round of snow, although totals will generally be on the lighter end. Temperatures tonight drop into the upper 20s leaving a good 10:1 snowfall ratio. This means this event will bring wet and heavier snow as opposed to our last system that brought very light and powdery snow. A coating to 1″ of accumulation is likely to our northernmost counties – Mifflin and Juniata. The rest of the area will likely be blanketed by a 1-2″ of snowfall, again nothing major to worry about. The last flurries should be falling betwen 3 AM Monday and 7 AM Monday. Our southernmost counties will likely see a rain/snow mix for most of the day Monday without drying up – this is mainly south of I-83. The rest of the area will dry out for a brief period of time, until about noon Monday. Then our next round of snow showers begins to move in!
NEXT WAVE OF SNOW SHOWERS: Following the brief period of dry weather late Monday morning – early Monday afternoon, snow begins to overspread the area again. There is a chance that this could start off as a rain/snow mix given temperatures should be warming into the mid 30s Monday afternoon. As the sun begins to set and temperatures begin to drop, that rain/snow mix will transition back to entirely snow with the whole area likely to see snow by 5-6 PM Monday. Heavy, wet snow will continue to fall through the rest of Monday evening. While your morning commute Monday will likely be decent, the evening commute Monday evening will be a mess. Conditions deteriorate even further by late Monday night as eventually the upper levels of the atmosphere begin to warm trying to transition this system into rain. However, during that transition period we will be monitoring the potential for a dangerous ice storm. This round of snow will bring some substantial snowfall accumulations to the area with our southern counties (Franklin, Adams, York and Lancaster) picking up 2-4″ of snow. Higher totals are likely further north with 4-6″ likely across Lebanon, Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, and northern Franklin counties. The biggest snowfall totals will likely be into Mifflin and Juniata counties where 6″+ is possible.
DANGEROUS ICE STORM POTENTIAL: As snow begins to try to transition to rain, we are watching the potential for a dangerous ice storm to unfold late Monday night into Tuesday. The upper levels of the atmosphere will be warming, but temperatures at the surface will still be below freezing. That means, although rain will be falling through the atmosphere, it will freeze on contact with the roads and anything at the surface. Depending on how quickly we can climb back above the freezing mark, that will depict how much ice we can see. Most models are in agreement that we will not climb above freezing until late afternoon – early evening on Tuesday which would be the worst case scenario. That means we could see nearly 12 hours of freezing rain adding up to a quarter of an inch of ice accumulation. Any ice accumulation is dangerous and will create an absolute nightmare on the roads. This system appears to resemble the November snow we received followed by freezing rain and eventually rain. Major roads were shut down for hours and driving anywhere was near impossible. This is the scenario we fear may be possible by Tuesday. We will continue to monitor and update you as we close in on this system.
Stay “Weather Smart” with the FOX43 Weather Team all week long!
Have a wonderful Sunday!
Meteorologist Jessica Pash