PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It may be the first day of spring, but Old Man Winter didn’t get the message.
A Winter Weather Advisory is now in effect for several counties in western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Fayette, Indiana and Westmoreland, through 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The snow started falling Tuesday afternoon, and will continue through Wednesday.
“A lull in the activity mid-to-late evening, and then things get going again overnight tonight, middle of the night, 3, 4 o’clock in the morning. That will carry us through [Wednesday] morning with snow showers across the area,” said KDKA Chief Meteorologist Jeff Verszyla.
He says to expect a messy Wednesday morning rush hour, and then the snow showers will taper off during Wednesday afternoon.
“In terms of accumulation moving forward, three to four inches, a lot of this coming overnight and [Wednesday] morning, primarily before about 9 a.m.,” said Verszyla. “Three to four inches covers most of the area, as you go further north a little less… with higher amounts in the Laurel Highlands as a result of the Winter Storm Warning in effect there.”
With a second round of snow moving in, that has road crews on high alert.
Once they had the first round cleared, there wasn’t much to do but pre-treat with salt and wait for round two.
Tuesday afternoon’s snow caused several accidents, including one involving tractor trailers on the Turnpike near the Somerset exit.
Wind whipped across Laurel Summit on the very Eastern edge of Westmoreland County on Tuesday evening. Route 30 was clear, but people who live there were concerned about get out and about in the morning.
“It could be bad in the morning for what the forecast is calling, and I looked at the radar and it looks like it’s coming up here real quick, said Bob Palek, of Bolivar.
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PennDOT, however, says it’s ready for what the overnight hours may bring. They have their plow trucks loaded with salt.
“We’re still in our winter mode, and we’ll be in winter mode till April 1,” said PennDOT District 11 Assistant Maintenance Executive Angelo Pampena.
Everyone is keeping a close eye on the roads during this storm.
“We’re having people come out at midnight and working through the next day. So 24 hours, around the clock, we’re having somebody here,” said Westmoreland County Maintenance Manager Thomas Boyle.
It’s also all hands on deck in the city of Pittsburgh.
“The roadway the temperatures are above freezing and it’s going to take a while before they get below freezing, so that should allow us extra time,” said Pittsburgh Chief Operations Officer Guy Costa.
And don’t think the irony of a first day of spring winter blast is lost on people. Many Pittsburghers think Mother Nature needs to check her calendar.
“This might be the largest snowstorm we’ve had all winter, and here it is the first day of spring,” said Costa.
“I would like spring to be here. I think we’ve had our share of the cold weather this season,” said one resident.