Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS State College, PA

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000
FXUS61 KCTP 221258
AFDCTP

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service State College PA
758 AM EST Wed Feb 22 2017

.SYNOPSIS...
An extended period of very mild weather with temperatures
nearing or exceeding record levels in many locations will
continue today through Friday. A strong cold front is expected
to bring a few periods of showers and thunderstorms on Saturday.
Gusty westerly winds, colder temperatures, and snow showers
across the western mountains will follow the frontal passage
for later Saturday into early Sunday.

&&

.NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 PM THIS EVENING/...
Early morning IR Satl loop and regional radar mosaic continues
to show plenty of high based strato cu and alto cu clouds spread
across the entire CWA.

Nothing more than some scattered sprinkles (or perhaps a brief
rain shower) was noted on radar and sfc ob sites early this
morning, and that will continue to be the case for much of the
day today as a weak, washed-out frontal boundary lingers across
Northern PA or Southern New York.

We have yet another very mild early morning with temperatures
averaging 15-20 deg above normal. low temps around sunrise will
vary from the upper 30s in parts of northern and eastern PA,
with mid and upper 40s occurring at many other locations.

A fairly thick mid cloud deck will blanket the Forecast Area
through the late morning or early afternoon hours today,followed
by some intervals of sunshine mixing with the patchy Altocu and
lingering Cirrus cloud deck.

Considering the mild start to the day, and GEFS mean 850 mb
temps of 7-8C, we should see max temps easily reaching the upper
50s to lower 60s across the north, and generally mid 60s
throughout the southern half of the state.

&&

.SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH 6 PM THURSDAY/...
Periods of high clouds and a light southerly breeze tonight will
help to keep temps on the mild side, with temps a few to svrl
deg F warmer than early Wednesday.

Perhaps the warmest day of the late week period will occur
Thursday as the mean boundary layer flow veers around to the SW
and is accompanied by periods of sunshine.

Consensus of all model guidance suggests just a slight chc of an
afternoon shower (or even some isolated brief TSRAs), thanks to
roughly 500-1000 j/kg of sfc-based cape on average across the
region.

Afternoon high temps Thursday will be near, or a few deg F above
records for Feb 23rd. Maxes will be in the lower-mid 60s north
of the I-80 corridor, and in the upper 60s to lower 70s across
the southern half of the state.

&&

.LONG TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY/...
Very mild temperatures will persist for the end of the week,
likely reaching records levels at least in some locations once
again Friday afternoon.


The overall, large-scale pattern becomes more amplified late in
the week as a system over the central plains deepens and lifts
into the Great Lakes. Clouds will increase late Thursday and
Friday with warm front lifting through, and bringing increasing
rain chances heading into the weekend, followed by a shot of
colder/windy conditions Saturday through Sunday.

&&

.AVIATION /13Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
The flight category will remain predominantly VFR across
Central PA airspace into tonight with ceilings ranging between
5-10kft. MVFR cigs are possible across the NW 1/3 of the
airspace with a few rain showers. Coverage of -shra is too
sparse/limited to include in TAFs. Trouble spots tonight into
Thursday look to be the NW and SE portions of the airspace with
potential for IFR low clouds (NW) and fog/reduced visibility
(SE).

Outlook...

Thu-Fri...Sub-VFR restrictions possible early. Chance of rain
mainly NW 1/2.

Sat...LLWS. Strong FROPA with sub-VFR likely in moderate rain
showers. Isolated TS psbl. Post-frontal wind gusts 25-35kts from
260-300 degrees psbl with snow showers NW 1/3 Saturday night
into early Sunday.

Sun...Sub-VFR NW 1/3 with scattered snow showers. Gusty winds
from 300 degrees.

&&

.CLIMATE...
***February Warmth 2017*** Updated 2/22/17 at 8am EST

Record high temperatures for select sites from Feb. 22-24:
----------------------------------------------------------

Harrisburg 2/22: 71 in 1974
Harrisburg 2/23: 70 in 1985
Harrisburg 2/24: 75 in 1985

Williamsport 2/22: 66 in 1974
Williamsport 2/23: 70 in 1985
Williamsport 2/24: 71 in 1985

Altoona 2/22: 62 in 1974
Altoona 2/23: 66 in 1977
Altoona 2/24: 69 in 1985

Bradford 2/22: 57 in 1975
Bradford 2/23: 57 in 1977
Bradford 2/24: 59 in 1961

-----------------------------------------------------------

Most 60 degree days in February at Harrisburg. Based on the
latest forecast, add 4 more days to the list and finish tied
for second with 7 days.

1. 10 days in 1976
2. 7 days in 1930
3. 5 days in 1991, 1943
5. 4 days in 1997, 1985, 1954, 1939
9. 3 days in 2017, 2016, 1996, 1990, 1961, 1932, 1890

------------------------------------------------------------

Warmest February on Record (Avg. Temperature through 2/21)

Harrisburg: 2017 rank=4 (38.6)
1. 40.4 in 1998
2. 39.6 in 1976
3. 39.4 in 1954

Williamsport: 2017 rank=4 (35.4)
1. 37.0 in 1998
2. 36.1 in 1954
3. 35.6 in 2002

Altoona: 2017 rank=2 (36.5)
1. 37.4 in 1976

Bradford: 2017 rank=6 (29.3)
1. 32.3 in 1998
2. 30.1 in 2002
3. 29.6 in 2012
4. 29.5 in 1990/1976
-------------------------------------------------------------

&&

.CTP WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
None.

&&

$$
SYNOPSIS...Lambert
NEAR TERM...Lambert
SHORT TERM...Lambert
LONG TERM...Lambert/Gartner
AVIATION...Steinbugl
CLIMATE...Steinbugl


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