TODAY: A very early flurry or snow shower; otherwise, blustery and chilly with clouds giving way to some sun. High: 42
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 27
FRIDAY: Brisk and cold with partial sunshine; a rain or snow shower possible. High: 42 Low: 24
It doesn’t get any more un-spring-like than this, with heavy snow, brisk winds, and unseasonably cold temperatures thanks to the fourth (and hopefully final) coastal storm of the month of March. Snow developed early Wednesday morning and got progressively steadier and heavier as the day progressed, with some places seeing one to two inches per hour during the height of the storm. Winds were a little brisk at times but thankfully weren’t too much of a factor, or else power outages would have resulted due to the heavy wet nature of the snow. Most would agree that the snow was enough by itself, with many places reporting double digit snowfall as the snow begun to taper off Wednesday evening.
The highest snow totals seemed to occur in a band from southern Lehigh and northern Bucks and Montgomery counties through parts of Berks, Lancaster, and York counties, where 12 to as much as 15 inches of snow fell across a large area. Lehigh Valley International Airport officially measured 13.2 inches for the day making it the 4th snowiest single day in March on record. Most everywhere else, 6 to 12 inches of snow seemed to be the rule across most of eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with one notable exception. As promised, there was a sharp northern cutoff but that did occur a bit farther north than forecast. From Sussex County in New Jersey through far northern Monroe County as well as Luzerne County in Pennsylvania, snowfall totals quickly dropped off from 6 inches to 3 inches to less than an inch over a very short distance, let’s say 30 miles or so.
The nor'easter is slowly moving away from the area, and conditions will continue to improve through the morning hours today, with any lingering flurries or light snow ending very shortly. Little or no additional snow accumulation is expected but still be mindful of leftover slippery spots on the roads early, especially secondary roads, sidewalks, and parking lots. The sun will even start to make an appearance as the day goes on and drier air filters in on the backside of the storm. The lingering breeze will keep it feeling chilly through later in the day. High temperatures will likely only be in the low 40s but it will feel like it’s well back in the 30s.
The sky will be partly cloudy tonight into tomorrow, but it may try to cloud up a bit tomorrow as an upper-level disturbance dives down from the northwest. This may touch off a rain or snow shower in a few spots during the afternoon, but would be a nuisance and not cause any issues, especially with temperatures above freezing. A very strong area of high pressure will build over eastern Canada by Saturday, which will drag down dry air and provide us with a good deal of sunshine. Despite the sun, the northerly flow will keep temperatures below average for late March.
The next storm we've been watching for Sunday still looks like it will remain to our south, likely deflected by that high pressure system in Canada. Even so, given the tendency for these storms to want to come farther north, we'll have to keep an eye on it just in case. Regardless, we still think there can be a few rain and snow showers around as another upper-level trough swings through.
The aforementioned high pressure area over eastern Canada will drift into the Canadian Maritimes by early next week. There will be plenty of dry air around, which will provide the area with plenty of sunshine. The north and northeasterly flow, will prevent temperatures from getting above average. A ridge in the jet stream by Tuesday and Wednesday will allow temperatures to moderate a bit, likely getting into the 50s.
Allentown, PA 18102