Winter weather advisory in effect until 7, after-school activities canceled in some districts
January 12, 2016 5:29 PM
Commuters board the Ross bus at the Ross park-n-ride lot on Perry Highway this morning.
A PennDOT snowplow heads out for another run this morning after filling up at the salt storage dome on Perry Highway in Ross as the region saw its first measurable snowfall of the season.
Rush-hour traffic creeps along the North Shore Expressway this morning. Snow squalls are expected today as a storm system moves through the Pittsburgh region, dropping up to 3 inches of snow.
Bus commuters wait to board the Ross Flyer on Perry Highway this morning.
By Clarece Polke and Andrew Goldstein / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory that’s in effect until 7 tonight for southwestern Pennsylvania.
A strong band of snow showers was moving through the Pittsburgh region early this afternoon.
State College-based AccuWeather said it’s part of an Alberta clipper storm system that can produce snow squalls and cause whiteout conditions, especially with wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph.
"That will drop visibility [with] a rapid accumulation, probably about an inch of snow," said Pat Herald, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Moon. "It'll be heavier, but it'll be very brief. About 15 minutes in any particular area."
Multiple Pittsburgh-area school districts have canceled after-school extracurricular activities amid the first measurable snowfall of the season.
Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said district officials this afternoon canceled all after-school programs and athletics, including several middle and high school basketball games. Parents were notified through automated phone messages, along with alerts sent to television network stations and posted on social media.
The National Weather Service has issued a weather advisory for the region, anticipating anywhere from 1 to 3½ inches of snow this evening. Temperatures are expected to drop tonight to a low of 5 to 10 degrees with wind chills between zero and minus-5 degrees.
Other local districts, including Fox Chapel Area and McKeesport Area also canceled afternoon activities for students.
"Really icy conditions" were the major concern for officials in Woodland Hills School District, superintendent Alan Johnson said Tuesday afternoon, causing them to cancel all after-school programs as well. The district initially had two ninth-grade basketball games scheduled tonight in McKeesport, as well as a home swim meet.
Administrators are also considering possibly canceling classes for Wednesday, he said. District parents can expect to see an alert around 5 a.m. if classes are canceled, Mr. Johnson said.
"The roads aren't too bad in a lot of places, but we have a lot of hills with some really slick ice that makes it dangerous to drive on," he said. "Between that and the fact that the temperature is really supposed to drop tonight...we were worried about the kids being out here in this weather."
Mt. Lebanon School District spokeswoman Cissy Bowman and North Hills spokeswoman Amanda Hartle said neither of their districts canceled their after-school programs.
Roads are clear leading up to the schools, Ms. Hartle said. Officials have not yet discussed possibly canceling school Wednesday, but said, "We always keep an eye on it, just in case."
The city of Pittsburgh issued a Snow Level 1 Alert late Monday, and road crews were working 12-hour shifts until the snow ends some time overnight, city officials said.
Statewide, people can view the location of more than 500 PennDOT trucks along 40,000 miles of interstates and expressways via www.511PA.com. In October, the plow and contracted rental trucks that assist in snow removal were outfitted with technology as part of the Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system pilot program.
The winter weather advisory includes the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Mercer, Westmoreland and Washington.
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