Freezing temps invade region, bring arctic chill to final home football game

Record low temperatures are expected to hit Centre County by Sunday, but expect a burst of chilly air Saturday, too.

Elyse Colbert, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in State College, said with highs only expected to reach the mid to high 20s around the county and lows into the high teens Sunday, it’s something the area not seen on that day in more than 40 years.

The cold streak will last until at least Monday, with lows also in the teens, Colbert said.

“This is a rare low for the high temperature,” Colbert said about Sunday’s forecast. “What we’re forecasting is the potential to break the cold record from back in 1970 when it was 28 degrees.”

She said cold temperatures are coming from two cold fronts originating from northern Canada.

“This is what’s called an Arctic cold front,” Colbert said.

The first cold front will come through Ohio into central Pennsylvania on Saturday morning with another cold front right behind it.

The highs Saturday are expected to be in the upper 30s with wind chills in the upper 20s. Lows Saturday will be around freezing with wind chills in the teens.

Penn State’s final home football game begins at 3:30 p.m.There’s a chance for snow showers in the late afternoon extending into the overnight hours, and it may impact traffic exiting the stadium and the ride home for many fans.

No snow accumulation is expected until late Tuesday night and into Wednesday, Colbert said. Centre County could see up to an inch of snow, but it will likely melt throughout the day. Areas in the northern tier can expect lake effect snow, Colbert said.

Annually, this time of year sees highs of about 46 degrees with lows near freezing, Colbert said.

“It going to be one of those things where you want to bundle up, especially with the wind chill,” Colbert said.

Colbert said there would be consistent breezy weather with overnight gusts of wind around 30 mph most of the weekend.

With the upcoming blast of chilly weather, outdoor stores and Tussey Mountain Ski Area said its facilities are ready for the winter.

Bennett Hoffman, director of operation at Tussey, said the mountain would be open for skiing on Nov. 30 — two weeks earlier than the average normal opening date.

That’s due to new and enhanced snow-making capabilities that will begin Saturday night, Hoffman said.

Hoffman said the facility purchased 12 new computer-generated snow-making machines that likely will run nonstop.

“We don’t have a budget on snow-making,” Hoffman said. “We’ll blast whenever we can.”

Hoffman monitors a number of different weather patterns that make for ideal snow making that includes low humidity, dew points and temperatures.

Annually, Tussey receives about 24 inches of natural snow, Hoffman said. With enhanced snow-making capabilities, the ski resort aims to always have at least 3 feet of snow as its base.

At Appalachian Outdoors, 123 S. Allen St., owner Geoff Brugler said his store has been stocked full of winter gear and accessories since July, when its first winter shipment came in.

“What’s nice for us is that you don’t have to travel far to find an array of outdoor winter activities, like Tussey is right in our backyard,” Brugler said. “And we’re blessed to have four seasons that cater to those activities.”

While the store sells ski and snowboard equipment, the biggest winter items are clothing accessories such as footwear, thermal underwear, hats, gloves and scarves, Brugler said.

“When it’s cold, all you want to be is warm,” he said.