Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS State College, PA

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000 FXUS61 KCTP 030601 AFDCTP Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service State College PA 101 AM EST Wed Mar 3 2021 .SYNOPSIS... An extended period of dry weather is expected in central PA through early next week. Temperatures will bounce higher into Wednesday before cooling down through into the weekend. A more pronounced warming trend is projected to begin next week with odds increasingly tilted toward above average temperatures into mid March. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM THIS MORNING/... High pressure centered along the mid Atlantic coast is providing clear and calm conditions early this morning. Boundary layer warming already occurring as return WSW flow advects milder air aloft into PA from the Ohio Valley. A freshening WSW breeze is expected over the western and northern mtns thanks to a tightening p-gradient, preventing mins from dropping much colder than the 25-30F range. The coldest readings are likely to be found over the south central to southeast valleys where the boundary layer will be decoupled allowing temps to bottom out closer to sfc dewpts or around 20F. && .SHORT TERM /6 AM THIS MORNING THROUGH 6 PM THURSDAY/... A weakening Alberta clipper sfc low streaking eastward across the Saint Lawrence River Valley early Wed. will send a moisture starved cold front southward across the lower Great Lakes into CPA by tomorrow evening. The only sensible wx from this dry front will be an uptick in the westerly breeze (common with dry fronts) and increasing low clouds sinking southward from NY into the northwest 1/2 of the CWA by 00Z Thu. Max temps will bounce off the weekly lows on Tuesday and climb 10 to 20 degrees warmer, reaching the 50 degree mark across much of south central PA (east of the mtns). We were keen to stay on the warm-side of NBM across the southern 2/3rds of the CWA given more sunshine and downslope flow/low level mixing. && .LONG TERM /THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY/... 11 pm Tuesday update... In the big picture, a broad NW flow of moderately cold air across the Commonwealth will prevail from Thursday through Saturday, as a deep vortex sits and spins over the Canadian Maritimes and an upper ridge axis stays situated over the central U.S. Although this pattern will bring occasional light snow showers/flurries into the usual spots (the northern tier and the Allegheny Front), amounts look very light/inconsequential, with the lake response limited by a dry air mass and short upstream fetch. From the ridge and valley region eastward into the Middle and Lower Susquehanna Valleys and the southern Poconos, it looks dry and chilly. From the latter part of the weekend well into next week, Spring fever is likely to take hold, as the previously mentioned Canadian upper low lifts out and fills, allowing heights to rise over the Commonwealth and the low-level flow to back into the W and SW. This should spell a significant warm up, with highs by the middle of next week likely to reach well into the 50s and perhaps the lower 60s in spots. All the while, generally dry weather is expected to continue. && .AVIATION /06Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/... Widespread VFR through tonight with winds shifting to the west- southeast or to 230-260 degrees. 35-45kt LLWS fcst over the northern 1/2 of the airspace late tonight into early AM Wed. MVFR to low VFR cigs are likely to return to the northwest 1/2 of the airspace by 00Z Thu. Outlook... Thu-Fri...MVFR cigs psbl northwest 1/3 of the airspace with a passing -shsn possible. Gusty winds 20-30kt from ~300 degrees. Sat-Sun...VFR with decreasing winds. && .CLIMATE... Closing the books on winter season 2020-2021. Prelim data shows Harrisburg finished as the 28th snowiest on record with a total of 36.0 inches or +11.3 inches above the 30-year average. Total snowfall at Williamsport ranked as the 8th snowiest winter with 53.8 inches or +26.1 inches above the long term mean. February was also a notable month in the snowfall category as Williamsport (8th snowiest with 22.0 inches), State College (11th snowiest at 25.2 inches), and Harrisburg (18th snowiest with 19.7 inches) set notable marks. Of additional note: February of 2021 was the snowiest February since 2014 at all three sites. && .CTP WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...DeVoir/Gartner NEAR TERM...DeVoir/Gartner SHORT TERM...Steinbugl LONG TERM...Jurewicz/Colbert AVIATION...Steinbugl CLIMATE... is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.