C’mon, Punxsutawney Phil.
Snow will sweep through central Pennsylvania Friday and Saturday despite the early spring forecasts the clearly conflicted groundhog gave two months ago. (To be fair, meteorologists including those at both The Weather Channel and State College’s own AccuWeather did not quite agree with Phil’s predictions in February.)
National Weather Service meteorologist Elyse Hagner said the State College area could get about 2 inches, though snow will be heavier in higher regions to the north and west around Snow Shoe and Philipsburg.
“It is only the second week of April, so it’s not too unusual for snow,” Hagner said. “Last year we saw half an inch of snow, so it’s definitely not unheard of. Between 2008 and 2014, we saw some traces of snow. In 2007, we had 3.8 inches of snow.”
Hagner said a deep upper level trough, meaning an area of low pressure, sitting over the region helped to filter colder air into central Pennsylvania from Canada, which resulted in below normal temperatures. Combined with a disturbance moving through the area, which would typically bring rain, there will be enough moisture to create snowfall.
Gusty winds could also contribute to snow squalls.
“We’ll keep an eye on that, and we would issue special weather statements if we had snow squalls coming,” Hagner said. “Squalls are usually a bigger problem in high traffic areas.”
Several events have already been postponed or moved inside to avoid the winter weather.
Penn State Relay for Life moved its weekend event from the HUB-Robeson Center lawn to inside the HUB.
The university, local colleges and high schools also began to postpone outdoor games.