Freezing rain forecast for Pittsburgh

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A storm system that has dumped snow on the midwest is expected to move into the Pittsburgh area Friday, bringing snow and freezing rain during the morning commute.

The National Weather Service issued an advisory for Western Pennsylvania that includes includes metro Pittsburgh, warning that freezing rain will begin around 5 a.m. and end around 6 p.m.

Travel conditions may be hazardous, with ice-covered roads likely, the weather service said, and wind gusts could reach 20 mph.

Kansas was the epicenter of the winter storm, with parts of the state buried under 14 inches of powdery snow, but winter storm warnings stretched from eastern Colorado through Illinois. Freezing rain and sleet were forecast for southern Missouri, southern Illinois and Arkansas. St. Louis received all of the above - a treacherous mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Several accidents were blamed on icy and slushy roadways, including two fatal accidents. Most schools in Kansas and Missouri, and many in neighboring states, were closed. Legislatures shut down in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska and Iowa.

"Thundersnow" accompanied the winter storm in parts of Kansas and Missouri, which the National Weather Service said is the result of an unstable air mass, much like a thunderstorm.

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