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People panic at the word 'snow'

  • National weather service
    National weather service
Published January 26. 2015 04:00PM

Just mention that four-letter word "snow" and people go into panic shopping mode.

On Sunday, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning.

NWS officials were calling it "one of the largest snowstorms of the winter," while predicting up to 16 inches of accumulation over the area.

Similarly, AccuWeather forecasters said Sunday snow in the Lehighton area could range from 8-12 inches.

The forecast has been downgraded to 6-10 inches for our area, but everyone was out Sunday.

Coming off a weekend storm that left over 6 inches of snow on the ground, hardware stores in the area have been keeping busy.

"Everybody's out loading up," said Phil Nuccio of Marzen's Feed and Hardware in Lehighton.

Marzen's has shovels and salt in stock for those last-minute "preppers."

"We see a lot of our same customers who come in all the time, but we've been busy," Nuccio said. "Everyone's talking about it."

"It" is Juno, a coastal storm bringing snow from the Ohio Valley to the northeastern states. Precipitation started with a dusting this morning and is forecast to last into Tuesday.

At Giant Food Store in Lehighton, customers were preparing for the worst.

"This is my normal shopping day anyway, but you can definitely tell there is something coming judging by the checkout lines," said Ernest Portwood of Lehighton. "I think we always probably overreact, but when you could get a couple feet of snow, you have to assume you may not be able to get the things you need to get. And even when you can get out, sometimes you just don't want to if the weather is bad."

Even some who normally poke fun during the storm stock-up were concerned about the potential snowfall.

"I'm usually the guy that says look at those nuts, but when you're talking feet instead of inches, you pick up another meal or two," said Jeff Ward, of Forest Inn. "I guess that makes me a hypocrite, but I'm OK with that."

Employees at True Value Hardware in Nesquehoning noticed a difference on Sunday.

"Selling a lot of shovels," said Jessica Weise. "Our numbers are higher than normal and I'm sure we'll be busy tomorrow as well."

The store also has snow blowers in stock.

Leslie Tripp of Lehighton, said she was going into Lowe's Home Improvement store to look for a shovel, knowing her chances of getting a snow blower at this stage of the game were slim.

"I doubt they have any left or any that aren't claimed," she said.

For some, however, no forecast is going to do the trick.

"Seeing is believing," said Calvin Shook of Lehighton on the Times News' Facebook page.

Maybe he will. Maybe he won't.

A major blizzard is forming off the East Coast and threatens to dump 2 feet or more of snow on New York City, Long Island, Boston and Providence.

Forecasters are saying our area will get the western perimeter of the storm and receive maybe a two-day total of 8 inches of snow in Carbon County and up to 10 inches in Monroe and parts of Lehigh County.

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey, said even if we only get a few inches, it will seem like more as it blows.

The snow will be lighter than what fell on Friday night and even this morning, so it will drift.

As a result, a winter storm warning is in effect until 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Today's snow was enough to cancel classes at all local schools.

For today, it could be on and off snow with maybe an inch or two accumulating throughout the day.

Then in a synopsis by the National Weather Service, take heed:

"Next Sunday and Monday, it might get interesting again."

It goes on to say that there could be an evolution of the Polar Vortex, with a development of a storm just prior to the arrival of bitter cold air.

By the way, for history buffs, on this date in 1843, a tornado struck in Pottsville. A factory was destroyed and there were fatalities.

Ron Gower contributed to this report.

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