Winter's here, but the snowstorm is a late arrival
Gregory A. Gull Jr., dressed as Santa Claus, skis on Thursday in fresh snow in Crested Butte, Colo. Light snow began falling this morning in Pittsburgh on the first day of winter.
A PennDOT truck ready to battle the impending snowstorm travels early this morning along Interstate 79 near the Wexford exit.
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Pittsburgh remained under a winter weather advisory this morning that extends to 7 p.m. Saturday but little snow had come down by this morning's rush.
Road crews had braced for rain changing to snow overnight and remained at the ready. The National Weather Service said the district would get light snow this morning but its intensity would increase this afternoon and tonight, with high winds causing blowing and drifting. Gusts to 40 mph are possible.
Forecast accumulation through Saturday evening is 2 to 5 inches.
The forecast of bad weather and workers taking extended Christmas breaks made for light traffic on the major highways this morning. The website FlightAware reported more than 300 U.S. flight cancellations as of 9 a.m. At Pittsburgh International Airport, departing flights to Philadelphia and the New York airports were experiencing delays, and one flight to Newark was canceled.
Winter officially arrived at 6:12 a.m.
Locations north of Interstate 80 remained under a winter storm warning. A warning also was in effect for the higher elevations of Westmoreland, Somerset and Fayette counties, and into neaby parts of West Virginia and Maryland. Much of Ohio was under a winter weather advisory.
Some schools have closed in the region today: Burgettstown Area and Holy Redeemer in Ambridge. Albert Gallatin in Fayette County will have a 2-hour early dismissal.
First Published December 21, 2012 7:25 am