The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

September 17, 2012

Get set to get soaked

2 to 4 inches of rain possible Tuesday

SUNBURY — A powerful late-summer storm is forecast to bring strong wind and heavy rain to much of the Valley today. It’s all the result of a fast moving area of low pressure — a classic cold front —rolling into central Pennsylvania.

“By midday you’ll see the heaviest of the rainfall,” said Mike Pigott, of AccuWeather, based in State College. “Our model shows anywhere from two to perhaps four inches of rain in some areas, and it will be a cold rain, since temperatures should hover in the 60s, maybe hitting 70.”

Thunderstorms are also possible after noon, Pigott explained.

Most of the day will be breezy, with a southeast wind 8 to 13miles per hour increasing to 15 to 20 miles per hour in the afternoon.

“Minor flooding is certainly possible. This is a system that could cause some water damage in lower lying areas and along some creeks,” he said. “With a possible four inches in less than 24 hours, that’s pretty significant. Meanwhile, the strong wind will bring frequent guests of up to 40 miles per hour across higher terrains beginning this morning.

“There is some concern that gusts could top 50 miles per hour on ridge tops,” Pigott warned.

The cold front should pass through the area well before midnight.

Early-morning fog

The storm today follows a 76-degree day Monday, that began with a significant amount of fog in the morning.

“I was driving from Philadelphia to work in State College,” Pigott said. “As soon as I hit the Susquehanna Valley there was very heavy fog. But nowhere else except the Valley.”

Pigott said it wasn’t unusual for there to be fog at this time of the year in river valleys. “When river temperatures are still warm, such as the Susquehanna River, at about 60 degrees” he explained, “and the surrounding temperatures start dropping as they have been into the 40s, that heavy cold air meets warmer river water and you get condensation resulting in the air. That’s a cloud; that’s fog.”

So think of fog as a cloud on the ground, he said. “And until the river temperatures lower, you’ll typically see fog in the morning.”

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