Snow storm shifts a bit south, lowering accumulation for Pittsburgh region



The Pittsburgh region appears headed for a reprieve from the worst of a welcome-to-March snowstorm, as the storm has tracked at the southern edge of what was originally predicted.

National Weather Service meteorologist John Darnley said snow that started this morning may continue this afternoon but is expected to taper off with only light flurries tonight and Monday morning.

Most of the area can expect about 4 inches of accumulation by the time the storm ends, when forecasts earlier in the weekend projected up to twice that amount. High-elevation regions south of Pittsburgh, such as in northern West Virgnia, are now more likely to see 8 or so inches of snow, Mr. Darnley said, while areas north of Interstate 80 may not see any.

Snow storm shifts, lowering accumulation for region

The Pittsburgh region appears headed for a reprieve from the worst of a welcome-to-March snowstorm. (Video by Nate Guidry; 3/2/2014)

Although he said such pre-spring snows are highly unpredictable, and the projections could still change later today, Monday morning commuters may find themselves in better shape than on many mornings this winter.

“If it continues to go the way we think, [most of the snow] stops by this evening, and the road crews will have time to clean things up,” Mr. Darnley said. “The best thing people can do is stay home this afternoon, enjoy what they’re doing at home, and let the crews get out and clean up.”

The city of Pittsburgh issued a statement at 9:45 a.m. saying its crews were preparing for a total of 4 to 6 inches of snow by Monday afternoon, which was revised from an earlier projection of 6 to 12 inches. The crews were pre-treating bridges, primary hills and curves with some 24 vehicles that were to begin plowing soon.

The statement noted, however, “the forecast and the storm can change quickly and the Department of Public Works remains at the ready for a much larger snow event should the city receive one.”

Just after noon, PennDOT announced it was closing HOV lanes until further notice due to weather conditions.

The weather service continues to call for below-normal temperatures this week, including a low temperature of just 1 degree Tuesday morning. Highs will mostly be in the 20s and 30s. The first sign of normalcy, Mr. Darnley said, is a predicted high of 43 for Friday, just 2 degrees below average.

“Knowing Pittsburghers, if it’s 45, they’ll be taking jackets off and wearing shorts,” he said.


Gary Rotstein: grotstein@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1255. First Published March 2, 2014 11:23 AM

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