Archive for February, 2014

A record daily maximum snowfall was set in Allentown yesterday, when a total of 9.3 inches of snow fell at the Lehigh Valley International Airport. This broke the previous record for this date of 7.3 inches, set back in 1961.

From the National Weather Service: A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 11 pm this evening to 1 pm tomorrow.

Tonight: A chance of snow this evening, then sleet, snow and freezing rain after midnight. Snow and sleet accumulation around an inch. Ice accumulation of up to one quarter of an inch. Lows in the mid 20s. East winds around 5 mph, increasing to northeast 10 to 15 mph after midnight. The chance of precipitation is near 100%.

Wednesday: Freezing rain and sleet, with little or no additional sleet accumulation. Ice accumulation of up to a tenth of an inch.

Yet another wintry weather system will affect our area over the weekend. Two of today’s more reliable models depict two separate batches of energy emerging from the west-central US trough. This separation keeps the system from becoming a blockbuster storm, as some of yesterday’s model runs were hinting at. The first area of low pressure will move south of our area next Saturday night, bringing an accumulating snow to mostly the southern half of it.

A break in the weather actions is expected for Sunday, then a second upper trough/weak low pressure system approaches for Sunday night into early Monday. This could be a rain/snow mixture, ending as some steady snow early Monday morning. Areas to the north may have mostly snow, with mostly rain over the DelMarva and southern NJ. At this point, there is still enough uncertainty to keep potential precipitation forecasts iffy. If the two systems do again merge, the possibility for a stronger storm could still evolve.

Though we cannot and do not endorse any particular forecasting entity, we do feel it’s useful to share a resource we’ve often found helpful in anticipating our area’s weather events. Nockamixon EMA has generally found the forecasts of a local group, GeoEnvironmental Atmosphere, to be as accurate as any we’ve followed. This group seems to exercise particularly thoughtful analysis, based on experience with our area’s idiosyncrasies as regards weather. You can find detailed forecasts at their website, and they also have a Facebook page.

We recommend that, given the potential for a quarter-inch of ice — which is enough to bring down tree limbs, especially when added to the weight of existing snow already on them from yesterday’s storm — that our residents and businesses prepare now for the potential of power outages. If you have a generator, be sure you have enough fuel on hand to run it. Observe all best safety practices when running a generator, such as never bringing a combustion engine indoors where exhaust fumes can potentially poison people with carbon monoxide gas. Also, be sure to exercise good judgment: When the precipitation is falling, the best place for you to be is indoors and off the road. If you must drive, do so carefully and bring extra warm clothing in case you get stuck somewhere and need to walk for help. Stay clear of road clearing equipment, and don’t park where your vehicle might impede progress of getting the roads back into safe condition.

Monitor NOAA weather radio, your local news and the Internet for alerts and special bulletins, and watch this blog for updates should they become necessary.

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