The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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January 2, 2014

Freeze!

Brutal cold arrives in valley tonight

SUNBURY — That minus-5 degrees Friday night, coupled with a howling 30 mph wind, will make the air feel like minus-15, says a meteorologist who warns that today’s icy blast atop Thursday’s fresh snowfall could make driving treacherous.

A winter storm named Hercules left 3 to 6 inches of snow on the Valley on Thursday, said Erik Pindrock, of AccuWeather, in State College. “But the serious weather is today and tonight, when arctic air masses will converge on the Valley into Saturday morning.”

The last time the Valley experienced temperatures below zero on Jan. 3 was in 2011, when it was minus-8 in Selinsgrove. The all-time Valley low is minus-14 in 1981.

“The reason for this cold air Friday night and Saturday is that the jet stream is far to the south, meaning we’re getting a full blast of frigid air coming down from Canada and points north,” Pindrock said.

Temperatures are expected to moderate somewhat Saturday, into the mid-20s, and top the freezing mark Sunday at 35 degrees.

After that brief respite, it will be even colder Monday and Tuesday, Pindrock said, with highs in the low teens and lows below zero.

“Another dose of arctic air,” he said.

Temperatures early next week could approach minus-8 Monday night, Pindrock said.

Meanwhile, those who traveled to points north this holiday week, including Boston or New York City, experienced the full brunt of Hercules’ strength Thursday.

New England and upstate New York received up to 18 inches of snow, while New York City got 6 to 8 inches, Pindrock said.

For those who might be returning to the Valley after a holiday vacation in the Northeast, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed major highways to plow snow Thursday night into this morning.

Here in the Valley, the state Department of Transportation was recommending drivers stay off the road because of blowing snow and dangerous driving conditions.

 

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