WILKES-BARRE — A big storm is brewing in the Southeast, bringing down plenty of ice and snow.
However, WNEP meteorologist Tom Clark believes the massive storm is set to curve northward to the northeast, sparing the Wyoming Valley from its worst.
Current models, according to Clark, are showing the storm is expected to hit late tonight into Thursday morning.
“It seems to be that it’s going to track far enough offshore to allow for a relatively small amount of snow here,” Clark said.
The eastern part of the state is expected to receive more precipitation, but Clark said the central part of the state will see minimal amounts. He predicted that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area will see anywhere from 1 to 3 inches, while the Pocono Mountains down to the Lehigh Valley could see anywhere from 3 to 6 inches.
The snowfall is expected to begin before daybreak on Thursday and taper off by the evening.
Mitch Gilt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, noted how difficult the storm was to track. As the storm was still forming as of Tuesday, he said it was similar to “trying to solve a crime that hasn’t even been committed yet.”
Clark also said storms in general prove to be challenging to predict. Elements such as the storm’s track, wind direction and temperatures 5,000 feet in the air all must be considered. A storm’s size is also a factor.
“It’s massive,” Clark said of the storm forming in the South. “It looks like your typical February snowstorm — it’s huge.”
Frigid temperatures have also been the trend as of late. Temperatures dipped to 1 degree during the Tuesday morning hours in Wilkes-Barre, but Clark said it wasn’t enough to break the record of -10 degrees set in 1979. Along with the blast of cold air, Clark said, the deep snow pack on the ground and clear night skies have allowed for colder temperatures.
The cold was enough, however, for one homeless shelter to notice an increase in demand.
“We’ve been pretty consistently full,” said Kristen Topolski, executive director for Ruth’s Place on North Pennsylvania Avenue.
The shelter had to set up four emergency cots to ensure they had enough to meet demand. Topolski said the shelter also received calls from people with inadequate heat.
Topolski said some space was available due to some women moving out, but added “that can change within minutes.”
Another storm is set to move into the area from the west on Friday. Clark said the storm could produce some light snow early on in the weekend, but added that Sunday looked calm.
He said the weekend would be colder than average, with highs predicted to be in the upper 20s to lower 30s.