“Millersville students probably won’t need to use heavier coats too frequently this December,” says Kyle Elliott, director of Millersville University’s Weather Information Center. “There will undoubtedly be colder days in December, but the number of ‘mild’ days should greatly outweigh the number of ‘frigid’ ones.”
Regarding the chance for any pre-Christmas snow, Elliott says, “I don’t see any ‘big storms’ on the horizon, and a White Christmas is unlikely this year at the ‘Ville. However, I can’t completely rule out a ‘minor’ snowfall on the order of 1-3 inches or less at some point this month.”
As a whole, Elliott is expecting 25-35 inches of snow this season in most of Lancaster County, with an above-normal chance of a major, double-digit snowstorm.
The long-term (1981-2020) average seasonal snowfall at Millersville is about 28 inches, so the 25-35″ of snow Elliott is expecting this winter season can be considered “near- to slightly-above normal.”
Millersville only received 0.9″ of snow during the entire 2022-2023 winter season, making it the least-snowy winter on record. The previous record for least snow in a winter season was 4.0″ from 1949-1950. Elliott believes Lancaster County should receive significantly more snow this winter.
“Storms of heavier magnitude will most likely occur between January 20th and February 20th,” says Elliott. “Temperatures in December should be at least 3-5°F above normal, and the first half of January could also be quite mild.”
However, Elliott says a transition may take place during the middle of January, with temperatures then averaging 1-3°F below normal from late January through February.
“In aggregate, temperatures should average around 1-3°F above normal this winter due primarily to a warm start,” says Elliot. “Despite this, snow-lovers should have much more to get excited about this winter in comparison to the last two.”
For a full breakdown of Elliott’s 2023-2024 winter weather forecast, click here.