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/...
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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.
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&& .CLIMATE...
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***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 -------------------------------------------------------------
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&& .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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