Get ready for a whopper of a snowstorm on Wednesday.
Unless these forecasts fall apart completely over the next 24 hours – it’s happened before – Schuylkill County will likely receive more than a foot of snow starting sometime around midday Wednesday.
Nearly every major weather station is now predicting anywhere between 12-18 inches of snow. The storm is expected to start around noon on Wednesday and won’t wrap up until Thursday morning.
Here’s a look at what some of the leading forecasters are predicting for the big storm on Wednesday:
Predictions: Snow Total Maps – December 16-17
This storm looks like it’s going to be a real doozy once it gets started.
National Weather Service Snow Prediction
National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Schuylkill County.
That warning calls for between 12-18 inches of snow in Schuylkill County.
You can see by NWS’ latest map (as of going live with this post) that we’re somewhere in the middle of that range. So, maybe 14 inches?
The warning does indicate that some areas of Schuylkill County could receive more. And based on the series of warnings issued by NWS on Tuesday morning, a slight shift in the storm path could bring even more snow than that here to the coal region.
Heaviest predicted snow totals – based on those warnings – are in areas just south and east of Schuylkill County. (NOTE: That’s not reflected in the map above.) A warning issued for Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, and Northampton counties calls for between 20-24 inches of snow with strong winds and potential power outages.
That could turn a crippling snowstorm into a dangerous one in a split second. Today should probably be the day you check or make your emergency plans, in the event you lose electricity service. Blankets and flashlights should be ahead of bread and milk on your shopping list if you don’t already have them at the ready in case of an emergency.
Early Tuesday morning, Accuweather updated its snowfall prediction for Schuylkill County, specifically possible. And they’re starting to measure this storm in feet of snow now.
Here’s a look at Accuweather’s Snowfall Amount Probability chart:
This chart is specific to Pottsville and shows us with a 69% chance of getting between 1-2 feet of snow in a little under 24 hours once the storm gets going. There’s even a 6% chance of us getting more than 2 feet of snow.
To be fair, that same chart shows us with a 25% chance of getting less than a foot.
Local weather forecaster Ryan Fannock issued his first snow prediction map on Monday. On it, he’s got a wide area surrounding Schuylkill County getting between 18 and 24 inches of snow.
He stresses that this may very well change by the time he makes a final prediction on Tuesday evening.
The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel may be showing an area slightly more north than NWS that gets the heaviest snow (pink) from the storm they’ve named Gail.
Here’s their snowfall prediction map:
The “News Station” is famous for low-balling snow totals. And this map is from WNEP’s 10 p.m. newscast, which we watched on Monday just before Johnny Carson came on. But you can see that they’re using a broad brush here to sketch in some snowfall predictions. We expect this to be a little more refined on Tuesday as the storm gets closer.
WFMZ is based out of where the storm is expected to hit the hardest and this map was created prior to the Winter Storm Warning being issued. But it still shows more than a foot of snow falling on Schuylkill County.
Again, it should be noted that the slightest shift in the storm track could dramatically alter the snow totals. A more southerly dip could mean us getting slightly less than a foot of snow on Wednesday.
But it doesn’t seem likely at this point but stranger things have happened.
We’ll take one last look at the storm predictions made on Tuesday and will remain on top of any potential new warnings issued from National Weather Service ahead of the storm.
Send Us Your Snow Pics!
We’re leaning on our readers to provide some epic photos of the snow storm as it dumps on Schuylkill County on Wednesday. Use our handy little form below to share the conditions in your area.
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