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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A major winter weather storm system is expected to impact the area, with snow continuing to move into the area late Tuesday into Wednesday morning.
It looks to arrive in the counties just to the South of Pittsburgh around 2-3 a.m., and into Pittsburgh by 4 or 5 a.m.
This snow will spread across the area from the southwest to the northeast, accumulating for the morning commute. When all is said and done, 1-3 inches could accumulate for most spots.While these numbers are not impressive, the impacts of this snow come from its timing.
The snow showers will mix with sleet and freezing rain by lunchtime, then change over to all rain showers for the afternoon. This will squash down, then wash away the snow. The rain looks to wrap up early Thursday morning.
Snow will start to push in south of I-70 close to 2am tonight; venture into Pittsburgh near 5am. Some models have been producing heavier snow bands focused south of I-70. Note that some areas may experience 1.0″ of snow in 1 hour. pic.twitter.com/EftO0OCEmL
— NWS Pittsburgh (@NWSPittsburgh) February 20, 2019
Winter storm warnings have been issued for the Laurel Highlands through 1 a.m. on Thursday.
Wintry precip exptd overnight. Precip changes to rain fm SW-NE thru the day Wed. Areas from Dubois to Indiana, the Laurel Highlands, and WV/MD high terrain likely won’t see a changeover until Wed night. Please see https://t.co/JWLI3e1waM or https://t.co/nR4yhzDSj7 for details. pic.twitter.com/6OxgSxhTPm
— NWS Pittsburgh (@NWSPittsburgh) February 19, 2019
Winter weather advisories have been issued for the rest of Western Pennsylvania.
Allegheny County, along with most of Westmoreland, Greene, Washington, most of Fayette and Beaver counties are under the Winter Weather Advisory through noon Wednesday. Communities along I-80 are under a Winter Weather Advisory through 6 p.m. Wednesday.
A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the Fayette Ridges and Westmoreland Ridges from 1 a.m. Wednesday to 1 a.m. Thursday.
So what can you expect?
Well, the NWS official forecast calls for one to three inches of snow for Allegheny County, along with upwards of a fifth of an inch of ice. KDKA Meteorologist Ron Smiley says most will see around an inch of snow (low side of forecast), and a fifth of an inch of freezing rain seems about right as a starting point.
Wednesday’s event should be looked at as an ice event first and a snow event second. This means you should expect to see road conditions slowed to a crawl during the morning rush.
Driving conditions are expected to be poor all morning long. Also, power outages could become widespread. Make sure you have all your electronics charged and ready to go just in case.
If you must get out and drive, make sure you have your winter weather kit handy and ready to go. This should include blankets and water just in case you are stuck somewhere for a long period of time.
The good news is that this nasty weather is happening due to a warm front that is going to push into the area from the south.
This front will push in warmer temperatures for the weekend. Highs may hit the mid- to upper-60s on Sunday even though there will be the potential for big rain totals with another Gulf low expected to blow in.
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