More snow for ‘above normal’ totals in region

It may be the year of the horse according to the Chinese zodiac, but as far as February in Williamsport is concerned, it’s been the year of the snow shovel.

Coming on the heels of a storm that dropped more than half a foot of snow on Thursday, the area was blanketed by three additional inches Saturday, which began around 3 a.m. and ended just after 1 p.m., according to Mark Paquette with Accuweather in State College.

The snow, which barely gave residents a chance to dig out after Thursday, added to February’s unusually active winter weather.

“It’s definitely above normal,” Paquette said.

So far, more than 19 inches of snow has fallen in the area this month, he said. That’s more than six times the amount that fell in February of 2013, which was a paltry three and a half inches.

The Williamsport area has now seen 43 inches of snow since October, compared to a little more than 26 inches for the entire winter last year.

“We’re already at 84 percent of normal snowfall for the year, and we’ve still got quite a bit of winter to go,” Paquette said – and he doesn’t see the numbers stalling there.

“Doubling the amount from last year is within the realm of possibility,” he said. “In fact, I’d be surprised if it doesn’t.”

Relief isn’t in sight any time soon, either.

Adding to the chance of doubling last year’s numbers could come as soon as Monday night, when snow showers will move into the area around 11 p.m.

It’s expected to be “similiar to what we saw (Saturday), between one and three inches,” Paquette said.

The good news is that Monday’s storm will be a “pattern-changer,” which will move high pressure systems into different areas and bring above-average temperatures starting Tuesday.

“Through Saturday we might even see temperatures in the fifties,” he said.

However, don’t get your hopes up for spring just yet – after this weekend and through the end of February and into March, colder-than-average temperatures will return, Paquette said.