Penn State students were added to the list of those in Centre County enjoying a snow day on Thursday.
The university announced at about 9 a.m. that all students would be dismissed at 11 a.m., and faculty and nonessential staff at 11:30 a.m.
“Only employees previously identified as performing essential services should stay beyond the official release time, unless advised otherwise by their supervisor,” Penn State said in a release. “Road conditions are expected to deteriorate as snowfall begins, and employees and students are urged to use caution when traveling.”
Penn State is asking for all vehicles to be removed from faculty and staff surface parking lots by midnight for snow removal.
All Centre County school districts are also closed in anticipation of wintry weather that is expected to bring several inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain to the area, starting at approximately 10:08 a.m., by AccuWeather’s count.
With highs not expected to exceed 30 degrees, rain is likely to become ice and make for treacherous road conditions.
AccuWeather senior meteorologist Paul Walker warned that the worst time for travel conditions might be right as the snow begins to fall, before the roads are fully treated and plowed.
“It could get pretty messy when the precipitation is initially coming in, depending on how the roads are treated. That continues throughout most of the day,” he said. “It all depends on how much travel is on the roads. Secondary roads that don’t have as much travel could be worse than the main roads.”
Snow and sleet are projected to move in from the south Thursday morning and move north through Centre County. That snow is projected to turn to sleet and freezing rain by mid-afternoon through the evening, when temperatures will drop and it might turn back to snow.
National Weather Service is calling for 4-6 inches of snow and one-tenth of an inch of ice in State College and the greater Centre County region, while AccuWeather is calling for 2-4 inches of snow.