Western counties in the midstate avoid latest winter storm

Written by Tim Lambert, WITF Multimedia News Director | Mar 7, 2018 1:58 PM

People run along the Schuylkill River in freezing temperatures in Philadelphia, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(State College) -- The expected winter storm has shifted its track, meaning the majority of the snow fall is expected in the eastern part of the midstate.

Paul Head is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College, who's been tracking the storm. He says it moved slightly east of where it was anticipated to develop.

"It's very, very difficult to call -- even 24 hours ahead," he told WITF's Smart Talk. "Usually, central Pennsylvania is on the edge of everything as it goes up the coast and how far west systems come determines how much snow you're going to get in the Harrisburg area."

So, the Dauphin County and its neighboring counties to the north and west managed to avoid higher snow totals, while Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks counties are in line for what was originally forecast.

"Counties like Lancaster, eastern Lebanon, Schuylkill, (Berks), those areas are going to get more snow than the Harrisburg area," he added."There's a band of snow that's moving across the state from the west. If that holds together all the way into the Harrisburg area, an inch or two of snow is very possible. The rates it comes down could be pretty impressive. For, say 15 or 20 minutes, or even an hour, it could come down pretty hard."

Berks County is likely to be the hardest hit -- with eight to 12 inches of snow expected by tonight.

The county is under a winter storm warning until 3:00 a.m. tomorrow.

"It looks, right now, like there's going to be a fairly good-sized winter storm, especially for the eastern half of Lancaster County, the eastern tip of Lebanon County, and Berks County," Head said Those areas there are going to get some very heavy snow. Right now, it's light and everybody's wondering what's going on, but be patient. It's on its way."

A winter weather advisory is in place until eight tonight for Columbia, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Schuylkill and York counties, with three to eight inches likely in those areas.

An advisory is in effect until 6:00 p.m. for Adams, Cumberland, Juniata, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder and Union counties, with one to three inches of snow in those areas.

Dozens of schools across the region closed today ahead of the expected storm.

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