'Major uncertainty' in weather forecast, says local meteorologist

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As a meteorologist, John Darnley of the National Weather Service at Pittsburgh is in the business of predictions.

But his prognostication skills are failing him when it comes to forecasting what kind of weather is in store for the Pittsburgh region in the coming days.

"There's major uncertainty," Mr. Darnley said today from his office in Moon. "We're monitoring."

He said Pittsburgh and the surrounding region is beneath a line of demarcation as of Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. "We'll either get an inch of rain or about 8 inches of snow," Mr. Darnley said. It actually would be better if the snow fell, he said. "We'd prefer that to an inch of rain because of the run-off," he said, explaining that precipitation in the form of rain falling on a ground surface that's either frozen or saturated could cause river ice jams and flooding.

He's not laying odds, one way or another. "It really depends whether we're in the cold sector or not. We have to just keep monitoring," he said.

Meanwhile, it'll be a mixed bag for the region today. The territory north of Allegheny County will see a covering of snow while it will be raining on and off everywhere else.

Come about 10 p.m. today, a winter weather advisory will be in effect for Greene, Fayette, Westmoreland and Somerset counties. That advisory predicts 2 to 4 inches of snow through about 1 p.m. Monday.



Karen Kane: kkane@post-gazette.com or at 724-772-9180.

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