SUNBURY — Up to 10 inches of snow could blanket the Valley by midnight tonight as the biggest storm of the fall is moving toward Central Pennsylvania, a meteorologist said Friday night.
“It’s significant,” Brian Edwards, of AccuWeather, in State College, said of the storm, “and it’s widespread.”
AccuWeather’s models suggest Valley snow will begin early this morning and last until perhaps midnight — a 12- to 18-hour span, he said.
“I’m sticking with the 6- to 10-inch prediction,” Edwards said. “I don’t see it missing the Valley, or at least there is very little chance that this storm track could change direction.”
The snow storm was created when moisture from the south collided with a cold front from the north. “That’s what has caused this,” he said.
AccuWeather predictions are a significant factor in how the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reacts, said Corey Pisarz, assistant manager at the Sunbury PennDOT depot.
“We subscribe to a special service offered by AccuWeather and we are constantly monitoring the system,” he said Friday afternoon. “This one looks like it won’t miss us. We’ve heard 6 to 9 inches.”
PennDOT depots in Northumberland County have a fleet of 30 snow plows — six parked in Sunbury — with others in Milton, Dornsife, Paxinos and Mount Carmel.
“We are on alert for this event,” Pisarz said.
Drivers will work either from 4 a.m. to noon or noon to 8 p.m.
When needed, Pisarz said, “They’ll do overtime and work into the night.”
Crews on Friday afternoon were loading their trucks with a 50-50 mix of salt and an anti-skid material.
“On our most-traveled roads, like I-80, we lay down 100 percent salt,” Pisarz said. “We’ll be ready for this snow, let me reassure everyone of that.”
News of the approaching snow storm also swept through attendees Friday night at Christkindl Market in Mifflinburg, which is expected to draw 14,000 visitors during the three-day event.
Henry Sitko, a glass craftsman, was resigned to whatever might happen today.
“I hear it’s going to snow,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
Allan Daniels and his wife, Emily, were at the Christkindl Market to enjoy the good food and live Christmas music played on a stage.
“They say it’s going to snow hard tomorrow,” Emily Daniels said Friday. “I’ve heard some friends are here tonight for the same reason. Allan I would have preferred being here in daylight. It’s real cold outside tonight.”
Edwards said that once the snow ends, cold weather will continue.
“This snow, no matter what we get, won’t melt soon,” he said. “I expect Monday to be very cold. The highs won’t get out of the 20s. The low, around 10.”