LOCK HAVEN - With the region experiencing long-term dry conditions that have caused river levels to steadily decline, forecasters are still unsure whether this weekend's weather will bring a welcome reprieve.
"The best term to use now for the weekend is unsettled," Meteorologist John LaCorte from the National Weather Service Office in State College said this morning.
"Not really sure still if it's going to be a washout. There's a front coming through and we're not sure if it's going to zip on through and bring a little showery rain or if it's going to go a little slower and bring a little more. That right now is frankly not clear. We have some forecast models predicting it to go fast and others that have it slowing down."
How fast that system will go through will determine whether the system will bring a minor amount of rain or "beneficial rains" of an inch or more.
"Right now, we're leaning toward a light to moderate rainfall covering the area this weekend," LaCorte said. "The best day for that will be Saturday. Sunday should be the better of the days, but we can't really tell if it will rain a lot or a little."
The area should also see rain on Monday and Tuesday, though the expected amounts are still not known.
Area river levels has steadily declined over the last several weeks, with the West Branch of the Susquehanna River measuring 8.42 feet Lock Haven and 1.12 feet in Renovo this morning.
So far this year, the area has received 6.14 inches of precipitation, 3.85 inches below normal. However, most of the extremely dry conditions have come since the beginning of March, with only 1.38 inches of rain falling, more than 3.5 inches below normal.
Right now, forecasters are predicting between a quarter and half an inch of rain possible Saturday and less than one-tenth of an inch on Sunday.
Until then, fair weather should prevail, with the skies becoming mostly sunny today with a high of 73. Tomorrow should be mostly sunny with a high of 74.
The rain should start sometime after 2 a.m. Saturday and lasting throughout the day under cloudy skies and a high of 63.
The chance of rain will continue, mostly before 2 a.m., Sunday, with a 50-50 chance of rain on Sunday, and a high of 52 under cloudy skies.
Rain is then likely Monday and Monday night, with a high of 50 and a low of 39. Then a chance of rain on Tuesday, and a high of 53. Wednesday should be mostly sunny with a high of 63.