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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Overnight rain turned into a wintry mix and snow early Sunday morning, causing treacherous driving conditions and covering much of western Pennsylvania.
Temperatures are falling fast as they plummet to the teens Sunday and will continue to drop into the single digits overnight. Strong winds are also expected to play a factor as wind chills will drop even lower. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Advisory starting at 7 p.m. Sunday which will last until 1 p.m. Monday afternoon.
RELATED STORY: Pittsburgh Weather: Snow Totals From Across The Region
As a result of heavy rains Saturday, some areas are dealing with flooding on top of the heavy snow and frigid temperatures that are moving through the area. KDKA’s Amy Wadas was in Canonsburg, Washington County, Sunday morning, where a portion of Route 19 and Route 519 were closed due to flooding.
KDKA’s Amy Wadas has the latest:
Warm air won the battle yesterday as rain fell across Western Pennsylvania instead of the highly anticipated freezing rain and snow. The flash freezing rain forced Port Authority officials in Pittsburgh to suspend all light rail services for several hours after overhead power lines were frozen.
A wintry mix is expected to change into snow with accumulation of 2 to 4 inches and a light glaze of ice accumulation in some areas. Drivers should anticipate slippery road conditions.
RELATED STORY: If You Must Go Out, Remember These Winter Driving Tips
The highest snowfall totals in the region are to the north of Pittsburgh.
KDKA’s John Shumway has been driving the region in the KDKA Mobile Weather Lab, where conditions ranged from snow-covered but passable roads to areas where strong winds created snow drifts that posed a severe travel hazard.
State officials have lifted a commercial travel ban on most highways and interstates in the western Pennsylvania region, but some roads still maintain the ban since Gov. Tom Wolf declared a state of emergency on Friday.
KDKA’s John Shumway has the latest:
In Cranberry Township, some untouched parking lots had as much as six inches of snow while other areas had none because of strong winds. Strong winds were the story of the storm. As temperatures began to drop, winds picked up, which blew snow from areas and exposed layers of ice below.
Road crews were forced to play catch up Sunday morning after rain threatened to wash away road preparation treatments. Once the rain stopped early Sunday morning and transitioned into snow, state and local officials started clearing roads and applying treatments.
I just measured a snow drift here in the parking lot along Rt 19. We’re seeing a 6 inch *drift* along the curb. Meanwhile in some spots of the parking lot there’s NO SNOW at all because of the strong winds. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/sQvLby2NFZ
— MEGHAN SCHILLER (@MeghanKDKA) January 20, 2019
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller has the latest:
Sub-freezing temperatures forced the Pittsburgh Public works department to switch to the more effective Blue Magnesium chloride to salt the roads Sunday.
Director Mike Gable says blue salt works when temperatures are as low as 25 degrees below zero. Gable says drivers are working 12-hour shifts to clear the streets.
He says they will work through the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Monday.
Watch Bob Allen’s report —
Meanwhile, if you are going out Monday, dress warmly. The National weather service has issued a wind chill advisory from 7 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday. Wind chills could be as low as 20 below zero. A doctor at Allegheny General hospital warns a low wind chill could cause skin to freeze in seconds.
Motorists attempting to traverse snow and icy conditions in Oakland were met with a challenge on Bates Street. Vehicles with front wheel drive were reported to have difficulties climbing hills. The road continues to stay open as crews monitor and continue to treat the area.
Flooding in Canonsburg
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