Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS State College, PA

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000 FXUS61 KCTP 081528 AFDCTP Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service State College PA 1028 AM EST Mon Mar 8 2021 .SYNOPSIS... An extensive ridge of high pressure stretched along the entire length of the Appalachians this morning and will bring abundant sunshine, relatively light wind and the first taste of spring with temperatures steadily rising through midweek. A slow moving cold front will increase rain chances toward the end of this week with temperatures trending seasonably cooler into the upcoming weekend. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... Just a 10 minute sprinkle or flurry is possible in BFD as some warm advection slides to the east and a weak wave produces some lower-than-expected clouds there. Elsewhere, the clouds should remain aloft far enough and the air at the sfc is dry enough to keep anything from reaching the ground. These clouds will also be dissipating as they move in, and already appear to be doing so. Air at the sfc is very dry, with RH already down in the 30s in the s-cent mtns. Prev... Skies were mainly clear with just some thin cirrus spreading over Central and Western PA early this morning. As a result of the very low dewpoint air across the Northern Mountains and optimal conditions for radiational cooling, temperatures have plummeted to the lower single digits in the snow-covered valleys of Mckean, Elk and Potter County, with mins elsewhere across Central and Western Pa generally in the teens. Temps just shortly before daybreak were in the upper teens to low 20s across the Lower Susq Valley. After the cold start, the much advertised warm-up gets underway today as an anomalous upper level ridge builds over the East Coast and winds back from NW to SW. Afternoon highs today will reach the low to mid 40s across the higher terrain north and east of the Mid Susq Valley and the low to mid 50s in the valleys of South-Central PA. Dwpts will only rise slightly compared to Sunday. && .SHORT TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... The warm up will continue through the middle of this week, as upper-level ridging persists over the eastern United States and surface high pressure becomes centered over the Middle Atlantic Piedmont region. The 08/00Z GEFS projects 850mb temperatures to rise to slightly above normal across NW PA Tuesday, then to between +1-2 Sigma across most of the state by Wednesday afternoon, before peaking later Wednesday through Thursday night. There is a good chance that highs will top 60 degrees for much of central PA Wednesday (and again on Thursday). && .LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY/... A cold front approaching from the Upper Midwest will bring increasing clouds by Thursday, and introduce a chc of rain showers across the northwestern counties. This front will slowly slip southeastward and across the area on Friday, accompanied by a continued chc of showers. There remains some disagreement in the medium-range models as to how far south the front will move, and exactly how cold it will get behind the front into next weekend. The 12z/07 operational ECMWF pushes the front south of the area Friday night and shows a reinforcing shot of unseasonably chilly air for Sunday. Meanwhile, the 12z/07 GFS stalls the front just south of the Mason-Dixon line next weekend, before bringing a significant surge of moisture towards the area next Sunday or Monday. Fortunately, this is still a week away and we`ll have plenty of time to monitor model trends between now and then. Regardless, it looks like the mild weather will come to an end by next weekend, with a trend back to normal or below normal temperatures. && .AVIATION /16Z MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... Air very dry at the sfc. Weak wave dropping down from wrn NY did produce some flurries at DKK and JHW. So, there could be low-end VFR clouds and perhaps a flurry or sprinkle will make it to the ground tere. But, it would be extremely brief and not reduce sfc visby. Expect some virga around, though. These clouds and any precip aloft will dwindle quickly as they move into PA. Prev... 12Z TAFS sent. High pressure moving just to the east of the area today will provide the region with fine early Spring weather. A few mid level clouds will be possible, mainly across the northern part of the Keystone state. I have LLWS in for BFD for a few hours this evening, as a westerly wind max forms near the lower Great Lakes area. There could a few lower clouds across the far north late tonight into early Tuesday morning, otherwise looking at good weather for aviation again on Tuesday and likely on Wednesday as well. A taste of Spring. Outlook... Tue...Early AM LLWS possible. AM low cigs possible NW Mtns. Wed...Patchy AM fog possible eastern Pa. Thu...Evening low cigs/showers possible NW Mtns. Fri...AM low cigs/showers possible, mainly W Mtns. && .FIRE WEATHER... Spring fire season is starting in parts of CPA with a few brush fires reported over the weekend. Modified arctic high pressure extending along the Appalachian Mtn Chain will bring abundant sunshine and rather light wind today. RH will again drop into the mid 20s and low 30s across much of central PA this afternoon. Much milder conditions will occur into the middle of the upcoming week along with increasing humidity. Relatively light wind Monday and Tuesday will freshen to 10 to 15 mph with gusts into the 20 to 25 mph range from the south on Wednesday. && .CLIMATE... Daylight saving time (EST->EDT) begins on Sunday, March 14th. The first day of astronomical spring (vernal equinox 2021) will be at 5:37 A.M. EDT on Saturday, March 20th. && .CTP WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... None. && $$ SYNOPSIS...Lambert/Colbert NEAR TERM...Lambert/Dangelo/Colbert SHORT TERM...Lambert/Colbert/Wagner LONG TERM...Evanego/Colbert AVIATION...Dangelo/Martin FIRE WEATHER... 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