Region sees heavy snow, ice; rain ahead

KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette Arabella Declerck, 3, of Hughesville has a ball throwing snow into the air as more white stuff falls from the sky on Wednesday.

With Wednesday night’s freezing rain, messy roads will have frozen overnight and may make this morning’s commute difficult.

Snow fell for four-to-five hours Wednesday and 40 state Department of Transportation trucks plowed across the county throughout the day.

“The main roads with the chemicals and treatment may be a lot better but getting to those roads will still be an issue tomorrow (Thursday),” Aaron Tyburski, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in State College, said. “What we will see happen is that any slush or melted snow on the roadways will refreeze again tonight.”

PennDOT trucks will continue to plow roads throughout the day tomorrow, but back roads and parking lots will cause the most trouble over the day, with possible icy conditions that should begin to melt as the sun rises.

Williamsport’s snowfall topped out at around 3 inches, but area snowfall reached as high as 5 inches in Wellsboro.

“The forecast had predicted it to come as snow,” Ken Pochatko, Lycoming and Sullivan counties’ maintenance manager for the state Department of Transportation, said. “Most areas in our district started out with sleet and freezing rain. Then it did switch over to snow. We would rather the snow come first because a lot of time, if you get the rain first it’ll freeze and make it much harder to de-ice the roadways.”

Today’s temperatures will be in the high 20s, but the clouds should begin to part and a great deal of sunshine will help melt Wednesday’s snow.

“The sun is strong enough this time of year to help melt those areas that will have issues in the morning,” Tyburski said.

The rest of the week should stay around freezing, according to Tyburski, but will give way to a warmer, rainy weekend.

Temperatures should, again, move below freezing overnight tonight, coupled with increased cloud cover.

That cloud cover could help lay more snow on top of what remains, with about a 50 percent chance of light snow showers, and temperatures in the mid 30s.

Saturday and Sunday will be a rain event, according to Tyburski, with Friday’s snow turning into rain showers for the weekend, which could reach the low 40s by Sunday.

“A warm frontal boundary is coming through, likely coming in early Saturday morning” with temperatures warming up and precipitation turning to rain,” Tyburski said