* Mild Start to October - Cooler Mid-month *
* Rare White Thanksgiving in Lancaster Area *

11:20am Wednesday, November 26:
This storm is evolving pretty much as expected, and I have no changes to the basic idea of 2 - 4 inches in Lancaster city (and low spots), 4 to 8 inches in the higher spots (such as SoLanCo, Welsh Mtn and Furnace Hills, Chickies Hill, and the hills around Lititz, Ephrata, and New Holland), and up to 10" at places about 1,000' elevation. If you've been following my Twitter feed @MUweather, I explained this morning the role of elevation and snow fall intensity in determining accumulations in a "warm snow storm" as we're experiencing today. It's about as complex as winter forecasting gets here due to all the variables. Anyway, the snow will taper off this afternoon with only lingering flurries into the evening hours.

Thanksgiving will be unseasonably cold, and some afternoon or evening flurries are possible as a cold front moves through. Friday will be windy and cold with highs only in the 30s. Consequently, the snow will stick around a couple of days....but a warming trend this weekend (near 50 Sunday and Monday) will do away with most of the snow cover. Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving! --Hörst

  • Submit your snow reports to MUWIC. Please measure snowfall on a deck or table, NOT on the grass or sidewalk/road. Also, please report the your elevation, if known. Thanks--we love our snowfall reporters!
  • View MUWIC reports from Wednesday.
  • View NWS reports for central PA.
  • Why not check out MU's Weather Watch show. Learn all about winter Hibernation!
    3:00pm Tuesday, November 25:
    With temps in the low 50s today, it may be hard to believe that it will be snowing tomorrow. But it will be--the question is, how much snow will fall and "stick." Low-level temps are very marginal early Wednesday, so the precipitation will undoubtedly start as rain late tonight...then mix with snow around/after dawn...and eventually change to moderate to heavy snow for a few hours during the midday Wednesday. The progression from rain to snow will occur quickly across the higher terrain, but it will take hours--many hours to our south and east--in the lower elevations. Thus, accumulation from this storm will be a function of elevation with 5 to 10 inches a good bet on the higher terrain (>1000 feet)...but much less is likely to stick at the lower elevations. My sense is that 2 - 4 inches is the most likely outcome for Lancaster city and other low spots around the county, although I can see how less or more could fall given just a degree or two of shift up or down, respectively. (As mentioned yesterday, the high spots around Lancaster county could get double the snowfall of Lancaster city....so 4 - 8 inches is possible in hills of SoLanCo, the Furnace Hills, Welsh mountain, and other Lancaster county high spots.) If you are traveling, I-81 corridor looks to be very snowy (I-95 will be more wet than white, until later in the day) and the mountains of SoCentral PA up into the Poconos will get the most snowfall in PA (6 to 12 inches). The storm will exit quickly, and accumulating snow will end by sunset Wednesday. Thanksgiving and Friday will be breezy and cold with highs only in the upper 30s. The weekend will be somewhat warmer with a high in the mid 40s Saturday and low 50s Sunday. --Hörst

  • Here's my (slightly) revised Storm Outlook map (Issued: 2:00pm Tuesday)
    1:00pm Monday, November 24:
    Today's delightful near-record temps (69 in 1979) will soon be a memory as some Pennsylvanians will be shoveling snow on Wednesday! While the upcoming storm will bring a 10- to 15-hour period of precipitation, the big question relates to how much of that falls as accumulating snow. Here in Lancaster the storm will likely begin as rain and rain-snow mix just before dawn Wednesday, and periods of "mix" and wet snow will fall throughout the day before ending during the early evening. Temperatures will be 38 or 40 when the precip arrives here, but quickly fall to between 32 and 34...and so the snow can stick if it comes down steadily/heavily. A similar system on October 29, 2011 dropped 4.5" of heavy wet snow here, but up to 10" on some nearby mountains. This system will have a similar difference in snowfall between the mountains and valley.

    It's still early to lock in accumulations with such a rare, marginal storm...but my gut feeling is a very wet 1 - 4" is a good bet in the Lancaster lowlands (like Millersville and Lancaster city), and 4 - 8" is possible at the higher spots such as the Furnace Hills, Welsh Mountain, and the hills of southern Lancaster county. Of course, if the temps run a few degrees warmer than I'm expecting, then well get little or no accumulations in the lower elevations. BTW, the sweet spot of heaviest snow looks like the Poconos up into the Catskills as well as interior New England where 8 - 14" is possible.

  • Here's my "first call" Storm Outlook map (Issued: 2:00pm Monday)

    Thanksgiving day looks variably cloudy and cooler, with a breezy and perhaps a passing flurry--high around 40 degrees. A glancing Arctic front will lower temps a notch on Friday, so expect highs only in the upper 30s. A gradual warming trend will then begin with highs in the 40s Saturday and back up near 50 degrees on Sunday and Monday. --Hörst