WILKES-BARRE — A big storm was expected to roll into the area today.
Just how big? Depends on what weather forecaster you follow.
WNEP meteorologist Tom Clark, who initially predicted 1 to 3 inches of snow for today, upped his prediction first to 3 to 7 inches, then 4 to 8 inches, on Wednesday, saying he know expects the storm to linger on the coast longer into the night.
“We’ve moved the numbers up a bit,” Clark said.
The National Weather Service, on the other hand, had much dire warnings, calling for 10 to 14 inches of snow to fall in the region. The Weather Service issued a winter storm warning on Wednesday afternoon for the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, as well as portions of the Pocono Plateau and the western Catskill Mountains.
The Weather Service meteorologists weren’t the only ones concerned about the storm, either. Accuweather.com was predicting 6 to 10 inches of snow for the area, while PPL was warning customers that because the snow is expected to be a heavy, wet snow, power outages are possible.
Clark’s prediction wasn’t popular with many in the area. Several Facebook photo illustrations of Clark have appeared in the last day. Some feature Clark buried to his neck in snow with the meteorologist calling it a “dusting.”
Uncertain predictions were the norm throughout the week as a storm formed in the Southeast. While the south was pummeled with snow and ice, the predictions for the Wyoming Valley became increasingly clear as the storm moved into the area.
Clark expects today’s weather event to have a similar impact to last week’s storm, which dumped 6 to 7 inches of snow in Wilkes-Barre. He also expected hazardous travel conditions and school delays as a result of the storm.
Clark predicted that the snow would begin to taper off by midnight.
PPL Electric Utilities is monitoring its services as the threat of winter weather moves closer to the area. Officials urge residents to be prepared for possible outages by charging their cell phones and to have fresh batteries for flashlights.
PPL officials also encourage customers to be patient for responses, given the probability of poor travel conditions for crews.