Weather watchers warn Pittsburgh region to brace for tough morning commute
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Forecasters with the National Weather Service at Pittsburgh are warning Monday commuters to plan a little extra time for their morning treks to work.
Charlie Woodrum, a meteorologist with the office based in Moon, said a winter weather advisory has been issued for the metropolitan region. That advisory is in place for 11 p.m. today through 2 p.m. Monday.
Light freezing rain is expected by Monday morning, following some light snow.
Meantime, in the higher elevations of Fayette and Westmoreland counties, a winter storm warning has been issued. It is in effect from 11 p.m. today until 10 p.m. Monday.
"People should be planning to leave a little extra time to get to work on Monday," Mr. Woodrum commented.
He said the weather service is expecting in the Pittsburgh region a sheath of ice atop 1 to 2 inches of snow. More snow - between 2 and 3 inches - is expected in the northern climes of Mercer, Venango, Forest and Jefferson counties. Ice will cover the snowfall, Mr. Woodrum said.
"The snow accumulation will be overnight and the freezing rain will come right about the time of the morning commute," he commented.
In the ridge areas, about 2 to 4 inches of snow will fall, followed by about a quarter-inch layer of ice, according to the storm warning that has been issued.
Mr. Woodrum explained that a low-pressure system is approaching from the southwest and bringing with it the precipitation. Cold temperatures will allow that precipitation initially to appear as snow. But, as the temperatures warm toward daybreak, the snow will turn to rain then will freeze when hitting the colder ground surfaces, producing ice -- and potentially tricky driving conditions.
First Published March 17, 2013 7:40 am