PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A winter storm is moving toward western Pennsylvania.
A wintry mix of snow, freezing rain and rain is expected to arrive just as you head out the door and get in morning rush hour traffic.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for western Pennsylvania from 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.
The system is coming from the south and is bringing early season snow to places like Memphis, Tennessee, and Little Rock, Arkansas.
The overnight hours in the Pittsburgh area will begin quietly enough.
“Still quiet out there through the first part of tonight, and really, just before daybreak [Thursday] is when moisture starts to arrive,” KDKA Chief Meteorologist Jeff Verszyla said.
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Verszyla says the way things are shaping up right now, there should be some light snow at the on-set, then the changeover to a wintry mix, after that there will be some rain before everything becomes snow again.
“If you want to use the city kind of as a gauge here, it should be right around 6 a.m.,” said Verszyla. “It’s going to start as a period of some light snow, probably last a couple, three hours, up through about 8 or 9 a.m., then a transition over to a wintry mix for again a couple, three or so hours, up until about noon time, before we start to see a little bit of a wedge of milder air working in and the changeover to a chilly rain, which should last pretty much through the duration of the afternoon.”
A wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain is expected late tonight through Thursday evening. Some areas from Pittsburgh to Zanesville and points south could change to all rain by Thursday afternoon. All precipitation is expected to change back to snow Thursday evening. pic.twitter.com/TNAmqjl5WI
— NWS Pittsburgh (@NWSPittsburgh) November 14, 2018
Areas to the north and east, like the Laurel Highlands, likely won’t see the changeover to rain. Instead, they are expected to continue to get the wintry mix throughout the afternoon.
Then, later in the evening, Verszyla says everything will change back over to snow. That’s likely to happen after around 9 p.m.
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Meanwhile, Light Up Night, the annual start of the holiday season in Downtown Pittsburgh, should be dry, but cold.
As a reminder, road conditions on Thursday morning may be hazardous. You should stay weather aware, including checking conditions before you head out. Even if conditions seem fine, patches of ice could cause slick conditions in isolated spots.
Pittsburgh Mercy’s “Operation Safety Net” is also opening its winter shelter for the city’s homeless on Thursday. Men and women will have a warm, dry place to spend the night at “Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship and Veterans Home” in Uptown.
The shelter will be open every night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. beginning Thursday, Nov. 14 through March 15.