A hard to forecast winter storm is approaching our area yet again. The storm will arrive very early Thursday morning and will be with us until Friday afternoon. The current model blend is predicting 5 to 9″ of snow and sleet for Berks. The storm will start out as all snow and could be heavy at times before mixing occurs. This is a highly volatile situation so it could be updated several times before the first flakes hit.
The cold air you’ve been hearing about in Texas is quickly filtering in along with our lingering snow pack will be more than enough to keep surface temperatures below freezing during the event. The theme from the last month of warm air aloft overrunning our cold dome will continue leading to sleet and reduced snow accumulation. The Euro\others wants to delay this and the GFS is brining it in quicker and further north.
The station has already recorded 34.0″ of snow this season while our seasonal normal is 30.7″. We were spoiled last year with a measly 5.5″ so just about everyone is sick of the cold and snow. Below are the station snow totals by season.
Station Total as of 2/2 8 AM: 18.8″ includes ~0.5″ of sleet\ice
Total Snow in other areas of Berks (Updated):
Huffs Church 24.1 in 0700 AM 02/02
Bern Twp 24.0 in 0300 AM 02/02
Fleetwood 23.5 in 1000 PM 02/01
1 N Reading 23.0 in 1000 PM 02/01
Temple 22.0 in 1000 PM 02/01
Mertztown 21.0 in 1000 PM 02/01
2 SW Bern Twp 18.0 in 0800 AM 02/02
West Lawn 18.0 in 1200 AM 02/02
District Twp 18.0 in 0637 AM 02/02
1 S West Wyomissing 18.3 in 0700 AM 02/02
Spring Twp 17.0 in 1045 PM 02/01
1 SW Hamburg 15.0 in 0700 AM 02/02
Following a very quiet\dry month and above average temperatures January will end with a snow storm. The storm will be an extended event that might not end until Tuesday. The storm is expected to produce 8 to 14″ of snow\sleet for Berks however just like the December storm this one is very complex.
The snow on Sunday is coming from a front in the Ohio valley which will weaken throughout the night. Early Monday a coastal low will form and quickly deepen into a Nor’easter. The final path and how quickly it deepens will determine final totals for Berks. Currently the heavy banding that usually occurs with these storms is expected to be north and east of us. If the banding sets up on Berks our totals could approach 18″.
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Early this morning the winter solstice arrived bringing with it the longest night of the year. Sunrise was 7:24 AM (ESE) and Sunset was 4:42 PM (WSW) for a total day length of 9.3 hours. Transit (solar noon) occurs at 12:03 PM and the sun is at an extremely low 26° in the sky.
The plot below shows the extreme differences between the summer solstice and the winter solstice. In the summer the sun reaches 73° in the sky for out latitude. It appears straight up to us, but actually 90° is straight up and this only occurs at the equator.