Jesse Ferrell

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May Snow in Pennsylvania!

May 12, 2008; 1:18 PM

I awoke this morning to see snow on the ground at my house in State College, Pennsylvania, home of AccuWeather HQ [Google Map]. Most of what fell was a slushy mess on the roads at our elevation (around 1,170 feet) by the time I awoke, but at higher elevations, things were white.

This was not unpredicted by the models, in fact the 4-KM WRF was predicting significant accumulation last night, but it failed to take the warmth of the ground into account. The actual reason for the snowfall is a "hotly" debated topic this morning at AccuWeather HQ, because it didn't seem to be simply elevation-based.

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PHOTO FROM PHILIPSBURG, PA
[Google Map] | MORE PICS FROM machabit


SNOW ON THE GRILL COVER ON MY PORCH
| SEE ALSO SNOW ON THE DIRT



SNOW ON THE PENNDOT WEBCAMS @ GALLIZTIN & CRESSON

And of course, other high spots in the Appalachians had to get in on the action too... in the North Carolina mountains, temperatures were near freezing at Beech Mountain (archived graph), and the Mount Mitchell webcam showed snow (or rime ice) on the trees:


SNOW ON THE MOUNT MITCHELL, NC WEBCAM

SO HOW UNUSUAL WAS THIS SNOW? Around here in State College, many locals are saying it was the latest snow they can remember. Officially, the University Park Airport didn't record the snow this morning (either it didn't snow there or it happened inbetween observations). Penn State says that the record May snowfall was 0.5 inches for State College in May 1, 1963, but also claims that 0.3" fell in June 1954 (the previous page said a Trace fell on June 23, 1902.

Records weren't immediately available for Mount Mitchell, NC, though WikiPedia echoes what I already knew: "Snow flurries have been reported on the summit even in the summer months of June, July, and August." It didn't appear from the webcam that snow had fallen at Grandfather Mountain, NC from their webcam, though it was hard to tell. The snowiest day in May was May 8, 1992 with 4 inches, according to their historical weather database.

And Mount Washington? Well they just happen to be sitting high and dry, outside of this storm.


TEMPERATURES AT 7 AM
(RTMA)


SNOW ON THE RADAR

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About This Blog

Jesse Ferrell
Jesse Ferrell's WeatherMatrix blog covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.