8-12 inches of snow, or 10-20, or maybe 40, heading for York
Come Friday, it might be time to get out the shovels for a potentially bad winter storm.
Some forecasters are projecting between 8 and 12 inches, while one computer model shows the area could potentially be hit with up to 40 inches of snow Friday into Saturday.
Brad Sweitzer Sr., co-founder of S&S Storm Chasers, a Red Lion-based volunteer storm chasing team, said since it is a few days out, anything could happen to change the weather.
"It's really hard to publicly release anything at this point," he said.
Big storm?: Despite that, he said of his group's 12 potential models for the storm, which is currently forming over the Pacific Ocean, all are "pretty much locked down at the same track."
He said usually there are about 10 different possibilities for models.
"Can that change? Absolutely," he said.
Sweitzer said the average amount of snowfall between the models is around 10 to 20 inches, with the Global Forecasting System run by the National Weather Service predicting as much as 40 inches.
“Most of the East Coast is probably going to get hammered by this one, as it stands right now,” he said.
He said the upcoming storm could hit as early as Friday afternoon and last into Saturday.
"It really does look to be a pretty long duration," he said.
Even though the storm has potential to change, Sweitzer said he is OK with getting the information out so early.
“The biggest thing is we don’t want to create panic or hype at this point, but we do want to let people know because people have to plan their lives,” he said. “It's something that we just have to track and keep an eye on.”
"Pretty big" chance of snow: Andy Mussoline, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather in State College, isn't projecting quite as much snow as Sweitzer.
“At this point, 8 to as much as 12 inches of snow will be possible with this storm,” he said.
Mussoline said that it's a little too early to tell the amount of snow the area will be getting come Friday, as the storm's path could change. Regardless, it looks like the area will be getting some form of snow Friday.
“At this point it does appear there will be a pretty big chance you will get some snow out of this system,” he said.
Mussoline said the details on the severity of the storm will become clearer as the week goes on.
“This is one of those storms where any change in its projected path will have a significant input into the forecast for the area,” he said.
Too early to tell?: Unlike Mussoline and Sweitzer, Elyse Hagner, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in State College, said the NWS does not have any estimates to give out for the level of snowfall yet.
"It's way too early to say," she said.
Hagner said all of the NWS systems have different tracks the storm system could take.
"There's still a lot of potential for change," she said.
She said the service would have snowfall estimates later in the week.
“The system at this point won't affect our area until late Friday into Saturday,” she said. "We still have plenty of time."
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com.