STATE COLLEGE — A storm has blasted the northeastern United States beginning Wednesday and continuing today, bringing heavy rain, high winds, damages, and even snow in high-elevation areas.

AccuWeather has predicted the storm will strengthen at a fast enough pace going into Thursday to be classified as a bomb cyclone, which means a storm with rapid strengthening. Most of these storms occur over the ocean.

The winds on the front side of the storm are likely to be from the east/southeast so it will not be considered a nor’easter.

The current storm heralds what AccuWeather is predicting to be an “active winter” for the northeastern U.S.

“I think you’re going to see a touch of winter come in in December, but I think its full force will hold out until after the new year,” said Paul Pastelok, long-range forecaster for AccuWeather.

Above-normal snowfall is predicted for areas around New York City and Boston, while farther south is likely to get a mix of rain and snow, according to the forecaster.

Though AccuWeather is already predicting this winter to be harsher than last, most people will wait for the snow to fly before they begin to prepare.

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“Places like businesses will buy their supplies now and prepare ahead of time. Regular customers are reactive, not proactive. Once the storm is announced, they will come in to buy supplies...” said Kaitlin Becker, manager of the DuBois Ace Hardware store.

Becker said Ace already has most of its winter weather supplies in stock, with the exception of sidewalk salt. Ace Hardware makes sure to have a supply of snow shovels, ice scrapers, sidewalk salt, emergency heaters, gloves, and thick socks for the winter months.

“We try to have it in by the beginning to middle of October because you never know what it’s going to be like when the storms start hitting,” Becker said.

She also said the store makes sure to keep a stock of insulation, spray foam, and heat tape for making sure water lines don’t freeze during the cold months. Properly winterizing and protecting against the cold is a staple of living in Pennsylvania.

“You can never guess how many shovels you’re going to sell... Being proactive is better because its more likely they [shoppers] will get the supplies they need instead of being caught in an emergency,” Becker said.

With Pennsylvania able to fit all four seasons into one day, it might be best to start thinking about winter preparations sooner rather than later if AccuWeather’s winter prediction holds true for the state.

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