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Environment & Science

After the Lehigh Valley’s heaviest snowfall in three years, are you ready for more?

GFS Saturday snow
This graphic shows the GFS, or Global Forecast System, tracking snow into the region on Saturday.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Less than 24 hours removed from the Lehigh Valley’s heaviest snowfall in three years, forecasters have a word of advice to offer: Don’t put the shovel away just yet.

Attention has turned to an end-of-week system that could bring another round of wintry precipitation to the region.

“We had a winter storm signal identified for the Feb. 17th time frame,” said EPAWA meteorologist Bobby Martrich in his latest video forecast.

“The hope was that we’d have Greenland blocking [cold air] building in at this time, and it’s just starting to build in. We thought it was going to be established by this point. It’s not established yet."

Because of that, the next system heading our way won’t slow down and amplify, Martrich said.

But it’s one of two chances for snow we’ll have in the coming days.

Weak clipper system Thursday night

Forecasters say a clipper-like low-pressure system could bring a coating of snow to the region on Thursday night.

The system will move out of the Great Lakes region and to our north, pulling a cold front across the Mid-Atlantic.

“This will bring a chance of precipitation to the area, primarily for our Pennsylvania and New Jersey zones,” the National Weather Service said in its latest forecast discussion.

“Depending on exact temperatures and locations, there will be a chance of rain or snow for many areas, including a chance for a dusting of snow in eastern Pennsylvania.”

Any impacts are expected to be “limited in nature,” with the system darting through and exiting by daybreak Friday.

Second system Friday into Saturday

A second shot of snow is possible Friday into Saturday, but Martrich said there shouldn’t be too much to worry about.

“Because the blocking isn’t established yet, I think this is going to be a little bit more progressive, which means it’s going to be moving through pretty fast,” he said.

The latest guidance tracks the storm just south of our area, leaving the Lehigh Valley on the cold side of the system.

Martrich said that could mean measurable accumulation for areas that get snow, but the system is “not something that’s really amped up.”

“It’s something that we just have to figure out between now and the end of the week,” he said.

The latest guidance has probabilities generally around 40-60% of 1 inch of snow or greater for all but the most southeastern portions of the area, according to the weather service.

However, probabilities of advisory-level accumulations (2-3 inches) remain around 40% or less.