This story was updated 9:24 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020.
Lancaster County could get an inch or two of rain starting Saturday afternoon as the remnants of Hurricane Laura pass south of Pennsylvania, Millersville University meteorologist Eric Horst said Wednesday.
In an update posted Thursday, he said the most likely outcome appears to be about half an inch of rain, but there's a chance that it could be as little more than a few passing showers or thunderstorms — or, on the other extreme, "some heavy downpours that total an inch or two."
"How closely will it brush us, that's something we can have a debate on the next couple of days," he said Wednesday.
But, he said, regardless of exact trajectory it appears the jet stream will keep the system moving quickly, and he expects it will be gone by daybreak Sunday.
"Behind the system Sunday and Monday we get a nice shot of cooler, drier air coming in kind of from Ontario," he said. "It could be quite pleasant, lower humidity, only around 80 degrees."
That will be a nice change from the muggy, humid weather preceding the storm, Horst said, noting that today and tomorrow could both have an afternoon storm or shower that's unrelated to Laura.
So far, he said, the county has had just over 28 inches of rain this year — within half an inch of the historical average at this point.
This hurricane season has been an active one already, he said, noting that some conclude without enough named storms to reach L in the alphabet -- and this one is there already, even though we're just now heading into the traditional "peak season" in the first half of September.
"The next month or two, there’s going to be more named storms," he said. "Whether they come our way or not, that comes down to the act of God, where they form and where they track."
For those keeping score...Laura is now up to 140mph sustained winds! Landfall will occur overnight, and she'll begin a rapid weakening process Thursday...to just a remnant system on Friday. Thankfully, she won't loiter inland as the jet stream will usher the remnants quickly out. pic.twitter.com/eZ0tEVJycE— E. Horst, MUWIC (@MUweather) August 26, 2020
#Laura is now a Cat 4 🌀 As it moves across the southeast US, it will weaken to a tropical depression. Saturday, a cold front will approach from the NW, keeping Laura south of our area. Rain from this system in PA is expected not to be significant. https://t.co/nwLPeK3diB #PAwx pic.twitter.com/VtDAh4DqWL— NWS State College (@NWSStateCollege) August 26, 2020