White Christmas to Come?

Penn Manor is dreaming of a white Christmas.

As winter rolls along and Christmas approaches, some are wondering if Lancaster can expect snow for the holidays.

Last year, Lancaster had over six feet of snow in total all winter long, making a new county record. This snow blew in just in time for the cheery holiday. This year however, the luck might run short.

“It is certainly cold enough to have snow, but in order to hope for a white Christmas, we need the right storm in the right spot,” said Millersville meteorologist Eric Horst.

“I really want to have snow for Christmas, it just makes everything complete,” said Penn Manor alumni Kirsten Bechtold.

Horst explained that because of the dry winter pattern the East Coast is experiencing, the chances are slim.

“As of now, there are no big disturbances coming to the East Coast to suggest a snow storm,” said Horst.

“if we don’t get snow, I’m gonna be really mad!” said another alumni Jessica Stetler. “Snow just adds to the Christmas spirit.”

Don’t stop wishing though, a small ‘storm’ might be heading this way. Horst explained a very small pattern is making its way towards Lancaster and should be here by the end of the week.

“If it does end up getting here, we can expect maybe one to two inches,” said Horst. “If the weather plays out this way, then yes, we may have some flurries for Christmas.”

“Having a white Christmas makes everything more ‘Christmasy’,” said senior Hannah Willett.

WGAL’s “White Christmas Probability Map” seems to agree with Horst. According to them Lancaster can expect a 25-50% chance of a snow filled holiday.

There might not be a blizzard for Christmas, but snow is a definite possibility.

By Toni Warfel

You Can Call It “La Niña”

Put away your snow shovels and road salt. La Niña is here to stay.

Last year’s winter was the biggest on record for the Lancaster area. With over 6 feet of snow, the 2007-2008 winter tripled the average precipitation. Snow days were coming by the handful and it always seemed to be white outside. This year however, with the bitter wind and cold temperatures, some are wondering if we should expect the same.

According to Millersville University’s meteorologist Eric Horst, this year’s winter won’t compare. On average, Lancaster county gets about 25 inches of snow each year. This season, the community can expect the same.

“We’ll probably have a winter closer to the the average, maybe even below average,” said Horst.

Horst explained this year’s winter will be very mild. The temperatures won’t be as rough, and the precipitation will be significantly less.

Why is this winter going to be so mild? The culprit, La Niña.

La Niña is a climate factor that periodically warms the ocean temperatures. Because of the warm temperatures, jet streams and weather patterns are affected all over the world.

“La Niña winters typically have a cold start. As the months go by, the temperatures rise. The winter will be a bit warmer than normal, but towards the end colder temperatures will make their way back,” said Horst.

Overall, Horst foresees a very changeable, but mild winter.

“As of now, there are no big storms coming our way,”said Horst.

Despite a La Niña year, we’re still in Pennsylvania, the land of ice, snow and chilly temps.

By Toni Warfel

Could Santa be Bringing Snow Already?

The clouds and wind may not go away anytime soon. So get used to them. And maybe, just maybe a bit of snow is coming our way.

Eric Horst, meterologist at Millersville University doesn’t predict a big storm any time soon. He thinks any precipitation this week will be a “mixed bag.”

That means a little rain, a little sleet and maybe a few snowflakes.

“The winds that we have been having, come from Canada due to the jet stream,” said Horst.  “Though we have had flurries, that may be it.  There will be a mixed storm trend but no threat of real snow (storm) like last year.”

And if you think it’s too cold for the beginning of December, you are right.

Wind and cold temperatures are making December feel like January.

“The temperature that we’ve been enduring is ten degrees below average for this time of year,” said Horst.   “The average is 45 degrees for this time of year and even though it’s this cold, we aren’t getting snow.”

The winds coming from Canada may bring about a foot of snow to mountainous regions, according to weather predictors. But for Lancaster County, we won’t be getting any real snowfall anytime soon.

Thursday skies are predicted to clear and the wind will lessen.  Clouds should begin to gather as a weak disturbance passes over the Northeast part of the state during the weekend.

“Sunday there may be some mixed precipitation and that trend will follow us all winter,” said Horst.

By Kim

Giving thanks…to snow?

As people are stuffing their turkey and greeting their family, mother nature is cooking up something a little different for our holiday weekend. Yes, we’re talking snow.

Experts from accuweather.com predict Thanksgiving day will only reach a high of 43 degrees and rain with possible sleet mixing in.

Thanksgiving Night will become windier in the evening, with a  high of 47 but will feel like 39 degrees.

A period of rain and sleet and even possibly snow will be making it’s trip around  parts of Pennsylvanian and New York state during Thanksgiving. A plunge in the temperature could lead to a freeze up of untreated wet areas over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Cites that could be affected by this wintry mix would include Altoona, State College, Williamsport, Bradford, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Pennsylvania and Elmira, Binghamton, Syracuse, Ithaca, Utica, and Albany in New York.

Many people are speculating about the weather during this extended weekend.  It may be better to spend the day inside fighting over the wishing bone rather than who has to be the one spreading salt over the driveway.

By  Cassie Kreider