State College

When will the winter storm start and how much snow can Centre County expect?

In icy weather, walk like a penguin

When walking on slippery surfaces, take advice from an expert ice-walker. Imagine you were a penguin and move like he does.
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When walking on slippery surfaces, take advice from an expert ice-walker. Imagine you were a penguin and move like he does.

After a brief tease of spring-like weather late last week, Centre County is about to get a rude reminder that Old Man Winter isn’t quite done yet.

The National Weather Service at State College issued a Winter Storm Watch for all of Centre County from noon Monday until 6 p.m. Tuesday. In total, the NWS is expecting 5-7 inches of snow with a coating of about one-tenth inch of ice in the region by the time the storm is finished.

AccuWeather is calling for 3-6 inches.

A little after 11 a.m. Monday, NWS meteorologist John Banghoff said the most recent models were showing snow entering Centre County between 6-8 p.m. Monday. He said the snow is expected to continue overnight until early Tuesday.

Banghoff said there should be several inches of snow on the ground by the time people wake up Tuesday — then things will start to get messy.

A warm front is expected to push through the region on Tuesday, changing the snow to what Banghoff called a “smorgasbord of wintry precipitation,” containing, snow, sleet, rain and freezing rain, throughout most of the day.

“I would say tomorrow morning is going to be pretty gross,” he said, “and really most of the day Tuesday, with heavy snow overnight.”

With snow expected in the morning, sleet and freezing rain in the afternoon and ice at night, Banghoff encourages people to limit travel on Tuesday.

“I’d say travel will be hazardous, if not dangerous with significant snowfall, then additional sleet and freezing rain mixed in,” he said.

Harris, College and Patton townships declared snow emergencies effective at 6 p.m. for Harris and 8 p.m. for College and Patton on Monday, meaning all vehicles must be removed from township streets until the emergency has ended. State College declared a snow emergency around 7:15 p.m. Monday, asking residents to remove all cars from on-street parking to assist with snow removal.

Ferguson Township is also reminding residents that is no street parking when snow accumulates 2 inches or more. Snow is also to be cleared in both townships from sidewalks within 24 hours of the snow ending.

State College, Bellefonte, Penns Valley and Bald Eagle area school districts canceled all after-school activities after 6 p.m. Monday.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation initiated a commercial vehicle ban on highways throughout the state, including Interstate 99 from the I-80 Interchange in Bellefonte to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, effective at midnight, and on I-80 through Centre County, effective at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Ice is expected to be the worst southeast of Centre County, in Somerset County and the Johnstown area, where a quarter-inch is projected.

By Wednesday, another cold front will push through, bringing with it winds of 35-40 mph, colder temperatures between 25-32 degrees, and the possibility for some isolated snow storms.

With the wind, and depending on how much ice accumulates, Bagnhoff cautioned that there could be the potential for isolated power outages.

“We will be back to a dose of winter, though not quite as cold as the last time,” Banghoff said.

Lauren Muthler covers what’s happening right now in Centre County, from breaking news, road closures and weather, to cool and interesting stories she finds along the way. Oh, and Penn State wrestling.