Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS State College, PA

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000 FXUS61 KCTP 230616 AFDCTP Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service State College PA 216 AM EDT Thu Mar 23 2017 .SYNOPSIS... One really cold night tonight before a more seasonable spring pattern returns. The temperatures will rise back to near or above normal levels through the end of March. A wintry mix remains possible early Friday morning before changing to rain. The weekend starts off very mild with rain likely by Sunday, and continued chances for showers early next week. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 7 AM THIS MORNING/... A light breeze still noted across the area at 05Z, acting to hold the temps up a bit. Still think winds will become calm by dawn, as high pressure becomes centered directly over central Pa and skies remain clear. The anomalously dry air, coupled with clear skies and a calm wind, will result in near record lows. See the climate section for 3/23 minimum temperatures records. Expect mins to range from the single digits across the northern mountains, to the teens across most of central Pa and around 20F in the urban centers of the Lower Susq Valley. && .SHORT TERM /7 AM THIS MORNING THROUGH 6 PM FRIDAY/... After a cold start, temperatures will begin to rebound as the surface high passes east of Pa and a return southerly flow develops. Highs today will still be below average but it should feel noticeably warmer with very light surface winds and plenty of late March sunshine bringing peak temps in the 40s over much of the area. The higher terrain of northeast Pa, where snow still covers the ground, will likely not make it out of the 30s. && .LONG TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... WAA pattern ramps up quickly Thursday night into Friday via anomalous west-southwest low level jet. Model solutions all keep on with temperature profiles/low-level temps favorable for freezing rain. The cold air might be deep enough for a little sleet at first, but just enough to mention. Will keep the p-type to R or ZR after sunrise over the NE. As we are finding today, the heat from the late March sun does wonder. But, there is still snow on the higher elevation, esp in the NE where the threat for ZR is higher. Will keep on with mentions of just a few hundreths of ice for now. Overall impact appears minimal but it only takes a small amount of ice to cause problems especially during the early morning commute. Temps should climb above freezing everywhere by mid morning Friday ending the risk for ice. Rain focus should shift north into NY Friday afternoon into Friday night as baroclinic zones sets up in upper level confluence zone downstream of deep cyclone moving through the Southern Plains. The boundary placement will be key to the fcst but it looks for now that most of the area will be in the mild warm sector. The models and ensembles continue to show a series of upper troughs progressing onshore from the Eastern Pacific and across the Southwest/South-Central Plains before deamplifying as they move east of the MS River. The first of 3 upper troughs emerges from the Southern Plains and crosses into the MS Valley Sunday and continues to weaken as surface frontal wave translates downstream crossing the OH Valley/Great Lakes into the northern Mid Atlantic states by Monday. Blend of NBM/ECENS/WPC still indicating max POPs in the Sunday-Sunday timeframe. Above average temperatures are expected over the weekend with the warmest day likely on Saturday with some sites approaching 70F over southern PA. Sunday should also be mild but a bit cooler due to the likelihood of rain. Fcst issues pertaining to a backdoor cold front appear to be confined to New England early next week with temperatures remaining near or or above climate averages into early next week. && .AVIATION /06Z THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/... Widespread VFR flying through the period. High to mid level clouds will gradually increase with surface winds veering to 90-160 degrees tonight into early Friday. Light precip will likely move across the airspace between 06-18z Friday, starting as RA/FZRA/PL before transitioning to all RA by 15z Friday. Outlook... Fri...VFR/MVFR. Pcpn ending after 18z. Sat...Mainly VFR. Chance of rain northern 1/2 airspace. Sun-Mon...Sub-VFR with periods of rain. && .CLIMATE... Minimum temperature records for 3/23 at select sites: MDT: 14 in 1934 IPT: 8 in 1906 BFD: 5 in 1959 AOO: 15 in 1960 && .CTP WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...RXR/Steinbugl NEAR TERM...Fitzgerald SHORT TERM...Fitzgerald/RXR LONG TERM...Ceru/Steinbugl AVIATION...Steinbugl CLIMATE...Steinbugl is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.