Titusville area motorists should watch out for any ice on the roadways today, as a late-night snow storm that hit Tuesday night may have caused some hazardous conditions.
Meteorological organizations, including the National Weather Service and AccuWeather, predicted another layer of snow to fall onto Titusville and surrounding areas between Tuesday night and around 5-6 a.m. today. While the flurry is expected to mostly tapper off by sunrise today, very low temperatures overnight have created a high possibility of ice and slippery spots.
According to Jared Reckley, a meteorologist with the Pittsburgh National Weather Service, overnight temperatures were predicted to have dropped into the teens, with a low of around 13 degrees Fahrenheit. These low temperatures are expected to continue into the early hours of today.
Reckley said these conditions have a high possibility of ice, especially on bridges and overpasses, and he said drivers should keep an eye our for any spots of ice.
Randy Atkins, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, expressed similar sentiments. While he said it is likely the roads will be cleared earlier in the morning, treatments aren’t perfect and slick spots may remain.
“Just take it slow, even if snow isn’t falling tomorrow morning,” Atkins told The Herald on Tuesday.
In terms of total snowfall, the NWS predicted anywhere between 1 to 3 inches. Reckley said there is a band of lake effect snow moving into the area caused by the cold front that passed through recently.
Atkins explained that the cold front greatly decreased the air temperature. When this cold air passes over the waters of Lake Erie, which is relatively warm in comparison, the moisture is picked up and converted into snow, leading to storms and flurries.
Atkins said it “wasn’t out of the question” for some areas in Northwestern Pennsylvania to see 4 inches of snow as a result of the storm, though accumulation will be unlikely through the rest of today. He predicted the storm would not be a sustained one, and there would be many periods during the night where only a light amount of snow was falling.
While the snow and ice may cause problems for today, it isn’t expected to stay around for long. NWS predictions snow above freezing temperatures coming in on Thursday, with highs continuing to climb into the weekend.
“By early next week, we’ll be close to normal,” Reckley said Tuesday. “Just a little below, but not nearly as cold as we are today and tomorrow.”
Weather today is expected to stay cold, but dry, unlikely to add much additional snow onto the pre-existing piles. Reckley said it was likely the vast majority of the accumulated precipitation will be gone by Thursday, as the sun is expected to come out and help melt the snow and ice.
Atkins predicted a possibility of snow on Wednesday night heading into Thursday, though accumulation is unlikely. He explained there is a snow front moving up north, in the Southern Ontario and Western New York areas, that might drop some snow. Otherwise, the weekend should be fairly dry.
Overall, however, Reckley said this month has been much colder than average. Using data from the DuBois area, he said the average high should be around 49 degrees. Average highs on Tuesday only reached 30, with today’s prediction hovering around 29 to 30 degrees for average highs.
“So far, this is definitely a pretty cold November,” Reckley said.
In longterm predictions, Reckley said the Climate Prediction Center, a sister agency to the NWS, is calling for a wetter and slightly warmer winter overall. However, he said that doesn’t mean there won’t be periods of snow and colder temperature during the season.
According to Atkins, AccuWeather’s long-range prediction team sees temperatures running around or slightly higher than average in December. The weather is expected to drop back down in January, leading to the potential of more snow during the month.
Ray can be reached, by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.