PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A winter storm is pushing through our area tonight and much of the region is under weather alerts.
According to the National Weather Service, a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 7 a.m. Tuesday.
The alert is in effect for the following counties:
Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Clarion, Fayette, Greene Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland
A Winter Storm Warning is also in effect for Crawford, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset and Venango counties until 7 a.m. Tuesday with accumulating snow fall to the north.
According to KDKA-TV Chief Meteorologist Jeff Verszyla, what sort of precipitation you see will depend on where you are.
“It really depends on location. We have been seeing rain and snow and even some pockets of freezing rain in parts of the area,” he said.
Verszyla says temperatures will play a key role in what this storm brings to different parts of our region.
“I do expect the rain line to continue to work its way or nudge further north overnight tonight to a point, and then it’s just not going to go any further,” Verszyla said. “And that point is probably going to be near or just north of Route 422.”
Areas north of that line are the ones more likely to see accumulating snowfall.
As for areas in and around the city, they are expected to see an inch or less and slushy conditions.
“In and around Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, any snow showers early tonight should transition over to rain showers later tonight,” Verszyla said.
Heading north, areas like Beaver, Butler, Armstrong and Westmoreland counties will be seeing around 1 to 3 inches. Even further north, counties like Clarion, Mercer, Lawrence and Venango will be getting between 3 to 7 inches.
“As you get north of Route 422 – New Castle, Butler and Kittanning – there’s likely to be a transition area where it’s mainly snow and that’s going to be across a good chunk of Lawrence County, Mercer, Venango and maybe northern Clarion County,” Verszyla said.
Meanwhile, road crews spent the day preparing for a number of scenarios.
“You have to watch it,” said Angelo Pampena, PennDOT’s Allegheny County manager. “You have to keep everyone out on patrol, you have to be ready when it changes over to snow, you have to be ready when it changes to ice and then rain.”
The way the storm is expected to arrive, crews have been doing the best they can all day to pretreat the roads understanding rain could wipe out their efforts.
“Just keep hitting it and hitting it, and it looks like between midnight tonight and 8 [a.m.] tomorrow is when the most freezing rain is going to come, so I’d say if there’s no need to be out, stay home,” said Pittsburgh Public Works Director Mike Gable.
No matter whose road you’re salting, the crews are hopeful the storm performs as billed, delivering its worst in the early morning hours so they have a shot at a counterpunch before the morning rush hour.
“We expected it to be some icy spots [Tuesday] morning so we’re going to ask everyone to proceed with caution and give yourself extra time,” Pampena.
The potential for the snow-rain mix has the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency preparing for the worst. The state’s operations center has activated a Level Three.
That means they will be monitoring conditions and work with counties to get whatever supplies or resources that may be needed.