York's early November storm 'snowier' than predicted

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch

Winter came early in York County. 

The Thursday, Nov. 15, storm that brought upwards of 7 inches to parts of the county even surprised meteorologists at the National Weather Service in State College, who initially had predicted only 1 to 3 inches of snow. 

Anthony Nowak, 2, takes a turn shoveling along with his mother Ellie, background, and sister Rosie, not pictured, outside their home along Hamilton Ave. in York City Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Ellie said it was her children's first snow shoveling experience. Parts of York County could get as much as 6-7 inches of snow according to forecasters.  Bill Kalina photo

"It turned out to be quite a bit snowier down there than we were originally thinking," said meteorologist Charles Ross.

The early November storm is rare for the county, he said, adding that the unexpected snow levels are random and don't follow a pattern in recent years. 

"I'm not sure the last time, but it's been quite a while since it's snowed like this in York this early in the season," he said. 

Thursday morning, the National Weather Service had predicted about 1 to 3 inches of snow. By 1:30 p.m., meteorologist Michael Colbert said parts of the county had already clocked in more than 4 inches. 

Both York County and York City closed down nonessential operations by midday, and the state Department of Transportation reduced most southcentral Pennsylvania highway speeds to 45 mph by noon. 

First responders were busy throughout the day with crashes and disabled vehicles. Parts of Interstate 83 were shut down throughout the day as tractor-trailers floundered in the snow and ice.

Thursday's snow will begin to melt overnight and continue melting into Friday's warmer 30 to 40 degree weather, according to the NWS. 

"It certainly woke us up that winter is around the corner if not already here," Ross said. 

However, the early storm isn't any indication of future winter weather, he said. 

"You can't correlate it to how the rest of the winter is going to be," he said. "It could just be a cold storm and we're not going to see (more). It's hard to know right now."