More Snow, Mixed Wintry Weather on the Way
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory on Friday evening warning of snow and mixed winter precipitation on Saturday that could bring three to five inches of snow and a glaze of ice to the region during the day on Saturday.
PennDOT is prepping for the expected wintry weather, with plow trucks, salt, anti-skid, and other equipment ready, and crews preparing to work as needed to keep the roads safe and passable.
According to Jason Frazier, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, those estimates are based on a variety of factors, including a warm front moving in that may make a mess of roadways during part of the day on Saturday.
“We’re expecting the heaviest period of snowfall to be in the morning hours, probably from about 7 a.m. to noon is when we’ll see that heavy accumulation,” Frazier said.
According to Frazier, the warm front moving in will then cause the snow to change over into a wintery mix, that may include sleet, and could cause some icy roadways.
“It could make travel difficult during the heavier of the wintry mix, but then we’ll see that precipitation change over to rain by Saturday afternoon, which will help some of the snow melt off.”
Frazier noted that a colder front will then move through on Saturday night, and the precipitation will change back over to snow, but due to the cold front bringing in dry air, not as much precipitation is expected in the later part of the day.
“We will see some snow, but probably only about an inch.”
However, along with the dryer air, the cold front will also bring some fairly serious wind.
“We are looking at gusts approaching 25 to 35 miles per hour by Sunday morning, then the wind will slowly weaken through the afternoon hours.”
Some additional snow showers may arrive on Sunday, but no additional accumulation is expected, and Frazier noted the light snow mixed with the gusty wind will also probably prevent much of the snow from accumulating.
A few light snow showers may linger Sunday night, but again, no accumulation is expected, and the wind should die down to a more breezy level by the evening hours. The cold front will really settle in overnight on Sunday, with temperatures expected to drop into the single digits.
Monday morning is looking somewhat clearer, with partly cloudy skies and the temperature climbing back up into the teens. While there is less chance of any precipitation, a slight chance of snow showers remains through the day on Monday.
For motorists who are traveling during times of snow or sleet, PennDOT offers this advice:
– Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits the conditions.
– Turn on your headlights.
– Stay in your lane.
– Increase your following distance.
– Stay alert, keep looking as far ahead as possible and be patient.
– Reduce in-car distractions since your full attention is required.
– Use defroster and wipers.
– Keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice.
– During whiteouts, come to a complete stop only when you can safely get as far off the road as possible or when there is a safe area to do so.
– Do not stop in the flow of traffic since this could create a chain-reaction collision.
– Do not pass a vehicle moving slowly or speed up to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.
– Give ample room for plow truck drivers to treat the roadways and never pass between two trucks operating in a plow line.
– Always wear a seat belt and never drink impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Additionally motorists can ‘Know Before You Go” and access PennDOT information by using the 511PA free smartphone app, by calling 5-1-1, or by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is a free app and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, plow truck location updates, and access to more than 950 traffic cameras.
PennDOT reminds motorists to pack an emergency kit for their vehicles. A basic kit should include non-perishable food, water, blanket, small shovel and warm clothes. When preparing an emergency kit, motorists should consider special needs of passengers such as baby food, pet supplies or medications and pack accordingly.
PennDOT also reminds citizens that downloadable materials, including home and car emergency kit checklists and emergency plan templates, are available at www.ReadyPA.org or by calling 1-888-9-READYPA. Citizens can find information about getting involved in local emergency response efforts and other volunteer opportunities through the Web site or the toll-free line.
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