Although it’s mid-January, the Lehigh Valley area has not yet been hit with anything close to a significant winter storm this season. That could change this weekend, however, so enjoy the relatively mild air and sunshine now.
Forecasters say an approaching winter storm is likely to bring a messy mixture of frozen precipitation to our area, which will possibly be followed by a period of rain.
In a hazardous weather outlook statement issued Wednesday, the National Weather Service said the storm is expected to begin with “a period of accumulating snow” on Saturday.
“A change to a wintry mix and even rain should occur from southeast to northwest for much of the area,” the NWS said. “The details and impacts however remain less certain, however. If you will be traveling across the region, keep up to date on the latest forecast.”
On the Lehigh Valley Weather Authority Facebook page, forecaster Tony Luchini also was hesitant to nail down his storm forecast just yet.
“Saturday’s storm is still full of uncertainty, however at this point I would hedge towards a few inches of snow, possibly transitioning to rain,” he wrote in his 5 p.m. Tuesday update. “We will start to get a clearer picture Wednesday, as energy will come in on the west coast and provide further data in modeling.”
In the wake of the storm, some of the coldest air of the season is expected to spill into the Mid-Atlantic region, with highs forecast to be in the 20s by Sunday and Monday. That represents a huge difference from the weather the area experienced this past weekend, when the mercury reached the upper 60s and high temperature records were smashed.
The storm is expected to clear out by early Sunday. Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which means schools, most government offices and some businesses will be closed, possibly providing area residents with a day to play in the snow, if any remains by then.