Forecasters upgrade predictions of snow for Pittsburgh region

A 'watch' is shifted to a 'warning'

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Old Man Winter appears to tightening his grip on the Pittsburgh region, sending us up to 8 inches of snow between tonight and Monday morning.

The National Weather Service at Pittsburgh has upgraded a winter storm watch to a winter storm warning, predicting that gusting winds and snowfall could add up to a hazardous morning commute.

"All the (weather) models are pretty much in agreement that we're not going to escape this storm," said John Darnley, meteorologist with the weather service, which operates out of an office in Moon.

The warning begins at 8 p.m. today and extends to 11 a.m. Monday for the entire Pittsburgh metropolitan area. The territories in higher elevations could receive even more snow, Mr. Darnley said.

He said some weather models indicated that the storm would begin as rain but he said it currently appears to be an all-snow event.

The most intense periods of snowfall will begin around midnight and extend through the pre-dawn hours, he said.

"People should be waking up to plenty of snow on the ground," Mr. Darnley commented.

He expects wind to complicate the morning commute. Gusts of up to 25 mph are expected. "There's likely to be reduced visibility because of the blowing snow," Mr. Darnley said.

The weather is expected to clear by Monday afternoon.

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