A wintry mix beginning as ice and sleet late Saturday into Sunday, and turning to all snow in the early Monday hours could wreak havoc with travelers returning from their Thanksgiving vacation and weekday morning commuters, said meteorologists from two weather services.
"I would advise people that if they are driving back to the Susquehanna Valley, or flying into our regional airports on Sunday and Monday morning, they consider leaving earlier if they can," said Alan Reppert, of AccuWeather.
The storm could cause delays in early Monday flights, Reppert said. "And if you're driving, do so with caution."
A storm system that originated in the southwest U.S. has moved north across the Great Lakes and threatens the Valley with an early Sunday ice and sleet storm, eventually turning into all snow, Reppert said.
Expect the system to move into the Valley shortly after midnight Saturday, explained John Banghoff, of the National Weather Service, based in State College.
Initially, there will be a wintry mix, beginning at1 a.m. Sunday morning leaving about 1/10th-of-an inch of ice on the ground.
Sleet is likely between 1-4 a.m., then freezing rain and sleet after 4 a.m., Banghoff said.
Later on Sunday, Banghoff said, prepare for early freezing rain, and sleet before 10 a.m. then rain, snow, and sleet from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Finally, all rain after 1 p.m.
"Chance of precipitation is 100 percent," he said. "There will be a respite for a while on Sunday, but early Monday snow is likely. We're projecting 1-3 inches before it turns to all rain later Monday morning."
Banghoff noted that areas north of I-80 and east towards Scranton could see significantly heavier snowfall, "possibly 6-7 inches," he said.