Plowing snow in Smithfield

Matthew Hawn cleared the parking lot at NAPA Auto Parts on Mount Vernon Avenue in Smithfield Township just before the snow turned to sleet Saturday afternoon. The area received 3 inches, plus a coating of ice, due to the system that pushed through the area.

When meteorologists get the particulars of a storm system correct as it passes through, they call that a win, and the storm system that passed through the area this weekend was pretty much what they predicted.

“It turned out close to what we were expecting,” said Rob Radzanowski, National Weather Service State College bureau meteorologist. “Snowfall totals in the county were about 3 inches, and there was also a coating of ice on top of that.”

NWS predicted the sleet would start around noon Saturday, which it did, but the sleet and the freezing rain that followed did last longer than they anticipated.

“It lasted a little bit later into the evening than we were anticipating,” said Radzanowski. “But, everything was getting a coat of ice at that point. It slowed the cleanup for some, but it didn’t change the forecast. The overall impacts were what we expected to happen.”

This week, it will be quiet, according to Radzanowski.

“It will be a cold start today and tomorrow,” he said. “Temperatures will start around 10-15 degrees in the morning with highs in the 30s for the next couple of days. Wednesday looks close to normal (temperature wise) with highs in the 30s, and Thursday through Saturday, we’ll be back above normal with highs will be in the 40s.”

The next chance for any storm system, according to Radzanowski, will be this weekend.

“Right now, that looks like there will be more rain than snow with this storm, but we will have to keep an eye on that as the week goes on,” he said. “The best chance of rain will be Friday night into Saturday evening.”

He also said this is a typical weather pattern for this time of year, aside from the warmer-than-normal temperatures.

“We’re seeing a storm every several days, which is pretty normal for this time of year,” said Radzanowski. “It’s been a little bit above normal with temperatures, but we are going back and forth between cold and warm air, which also tends to happen this time of year.

“It will cool down behind a storm system, then it gets warmer, than a storm hits,” he added. “So far this year, we’ve been a little bit on the warmer side than the colder side, which has brought down snow totals and brought more rain as opposed to snow.”

Radzanoswki sees this weather pattern persisting at least through the end of the month.

“This has been the weather pattern for the last month or two,” he said. “It could shift. It only takes one storm to change how we see the pattern overall, but it looks like it’s going to be around the same through the end of the month, then we’ll likely trend back to more normal temperatures as we head into February.”

Kylie can be reached at


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