Forecasters Predicting ‘Blockbuster’ Snow Storm

| January 18, 2019

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – Forecasters are calling the upcoming snow storm a “blockbuster” as it approaches our region.

(PHOTO: A plow clears snow from a roadway in 2019. AP Photo/Orlin Wagner.)

According to the National Weather Service forecast, it should remain cloudy overnight on Friday, with a low around 22 degrees.

The storm is expected to strike on Saturday beginning around 11:00 a.m.

According to Shannon Hefferan, of the National Weather Service of Pittsburgh, our area “may start to see snow by mid-morning on Saturday.”

“That will keep going until the storm moves out late Sunday into early Monday morning.”

“Right now, in terms of totals in the area of Interstate 80, 12 to 15 inches of snow is what we’re looking like. That area is more likely to get snow than anything else.”

Hefferan noted that while questions remain about how much snow, as opposed to mixed rain, freezing rain, and sleet, Venango County is more likely to see heavy snowfall without much, if any, wintery mix.

AccuWeather forecasters are predicting the storm “will be a blockbuster in terms of impact and dangerous conditions.”

Paul Walker, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, noted that areas to the north of Interstate 80 will likely see higher snowfall totals, possibly up to 18 inches in the northernmost parts of the county and in neighboring Forest County.

Walker noted that wind will also be a factor in the storm.

“This storm will get windy, so we’re looking at blowing and drifting snow, with travel becoming difficult and possibly dangerous due to low visibility,” Walker said.

According to Hefferan, the period of the heaviest snowfall should come late Saturday, heading into Sunday.

“For a six-hour period that night, we’re expecting about five inches in six hours, which is almost an inch per hour. That’s where the most intense period is before the storm fizzles out,” Hefferan said.

While the storm should taper into snow flurries on Sunday, a serious cold blast is still expected to follow the storm. The temperature Sunday is expected to drop down to around zero, and that frigid weather will continue through Monday.

The skies are expected to clear and give in to a partly sunny day on Monday.

“The high for Monday is looking like it will be around 10 degrees, and the low will be around zero. That cold air will be sinking in, and anything untreated will freeze. With wind chills that may drop down as far as -15, there might be a wind chill watch or warning put into effect,” Hefferan said.

Monday night should be partly cloudy, with the temperature overnight dropping back down to -1.

A 40% chance of snow showers returns on Tuesday, with the temperature climbing back up to around 31 degrees. Overnight Tuesday night, there is a 60% chance of rain and snow showers with a low around 26 degrees.

Rain and snow showers are likely throughout the day Wednesday, with the temperature warming back up to a high of around 38 degrees.

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