PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Changing weather conditions are in store for the Pittsburgh region over the next couple of days.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the area Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.
Forecasters say as much as 6-inches of snow could fall in the Pittsburgh area.
KDKA Meteorologist Jeff Verszyla believes the “watch” is warranted for Greene and Fayette counties, and the Laurel Ridges.
Verszyla is forecasting to to three inches in and around the Pittsburgh area.
“A general two to four inches that will cover all of Allegheny County and just south of Allegheny County. Again, as you get north, the totals tail off,” he says. “Four inches or better as you get south of I-70, especially as you get into northern West Virginia.
A Flood Warning has also been issued for the Monongahela River near Charleroi affecting Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties, as well as the Mon River near Elizabeth affecting Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
“Radar loop [is] showing a steady stream of moisture across the area, this is ahead of the cold front, which is going to be sagging through the area over the course of the overnight period and will settle down to the south [Wednesday],” Verszyla said. “Now, as it gets down to the south, it gets held up and it slows down its forward progress and a wave of low pressure’s going to develop along that boundary and then move by to our south, but they’re will be consistent precipitation on the backside of this front [Wednesday] evening and [Wednesday] night, but there will be a very sharp cut off to the precipitation that continues to stream in this direction.”
The low overnight will be 37 degrees.
The city loaded its trucks and braced for ice on Tuesday, but it never really came. Instead, there was just the miserable rain.
In preparation of Wednesday’s snow, Tuesday became a day of moving salt to where it’s needed.
KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:
And while some salt domes across the area – like the one on Route 51 – were empty, others – like the one at Herchel Park – were doing okay.
“This time of year we’re in March, we’re not in January, we don’t need to have full domes,” said Mike Gable, the director of Pittsburgh Public Works. “We have several thousand tons on stock right now, and salt came in yesterday, came in today.”
Other places haven’t been so lucky and have reached out for help. McKeesport is getting salt from PennDOT out of Beaver County, and Verona needed some help as well.
“They had a smaller need, but still a need based on their requirements,” said Allegheny County Emergency Management Chief Alvin Henderson. “We were able to assist coming right from the county Department of Public Works.”
Meanwhile, across the board, folks are hoping this is winter’s last punch in the gut. It’s called weather fatigue.
“I feel like I’m feeling it right now, I’m pretty tired,” said Gonzalo Vega, of Mount Lebanon.
“We go into December and we’re excited about snow and cold and getting to bundle up and stay home,” said Melanie Como Harris, of Squirrel Hill, “and four or five months of this, we all just want to be out and about.”
“I really would like it to be nice out,” added Travis James, of Mount Oliver. “All the ice and snow on the ground, all the slush and ice is making it very ugly outside and it brings down my day a little bit.”
In Cherry Township, Butler County, officials say all dirt and gravel roads in the township are impassable due to ice. Road crews will be out overnight putting down anti-skid material.
With all the rain and the melting snow and ice, flooding is being monitored in spots.
The National Weather Service expects the river to rise to 18.8 feet by Thursday afternoon.
At 18 feet, water begins to affect the Mon Parking Wharf. At 19 feet, water starts to spill onto the North Shore Riverwalk.