PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With the potential of freezing rain in the forecast, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for several counties on Friday.
Much of the Pittsburgh area is under a Winter Weather Advisory from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Meteorologist Ray Petelin says after an early morning cold front, we have sub-freezing temperatures in place. A winter storm system will lift into the area, bringing warm air aloft and moisture.
The upper level warm air will cause this precipitation to fall as rain into our cold pool of air at the surface. This is the recipe for freezing rain, also known as an icy glaze. This will cause the potential for slick, dangerous travel.
In the lower elevations, which is most of our area, we’ll have the potential for a brief bout with this icy set-up. A quick transition to all rain is expected by early afternoon New Year’s Day. However, the mid-morning onset of this precipitation could come with icing. Once temperatures rise above freezing, the threat will end.
Garret County is under an Ice Storm Warning, with significant icing possible. This could lead to power outages, along with dangerous travel. Because of snowpack and elevation, the surface temperatures are expected to stay below freezing, keeping the freezing threat for most of the day.
Somerset County is under a Winter Storm Watch, and there’s a potential for significant icing there, too.
When all is said and done, some of the higher elevations could be looking at 1/3″ ice accumulation. That much is not expected in Pittsburgh, however, there may be enough to cause slick conditions.
PennDOT says in anticipation of the freezing rain, they’re advising drivers to avoid all unnecessary travel. They plan on implementing travel restrictions on trucks and other vehicles on some roads around the state.
“Our team is ready and will work before and throughout the storm,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said in a press release. “Any icing presents a challenge because rain will wash away some material, and ice is less visible to motorists than snow.”
You can see all the restrictions PennDOT will put in place online.