The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

March 5, 2013

Winter storm will hit heaviest in southern Pa.

HARRISBURG — Much of southern Pennsylvania can expect its biggest storm this winter, with up to a foot of snow forecast for higher elevations between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh beginning overnight and lasting into Wednesday, a National Weather Service forecaster said.

Meteorologist Aaron Tyburski of the National Weather Service in State College said the snowfall will move west to east, with the heaviest snowfall on the Eastern Seaboard occurring in Virginia. In Pennsylvania, it will begin in western Pennsylvania after sunset Tuesday and end in eastern Pennsylvania after noon Wednesday, he said.

The heaviest snowfall will be in south-central Pennsylvania’s more rugged terrain south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, with 10 to 12 inches falling on areas stretching from Somerset through Adams counties, Tyburski said.

The snowfall will taper off quickly to the north, with less than an inch north of Interstate 80. Philadelphia can expect two to three inches, while Pittsburgh can expect six to eight inches and Harrisburg can expect a half-foot. The Wednesday morning commute will be tricky, with snow falling at about an inch per hour in some areas, Tyburski said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation does not plan to pre-treat Pittsburgh-area roads because of the rain expected to precede the snow, spokesman James Struzzi told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. But the agency’s snowplows will be “full force” overnight to clear roads before the morning commute, Struzzi told the newspaper.

Farther east, in Lancaster County, PennDOT was spraying a brine solution on major arteries on Tuesday, the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era reported.

Tyburski said it is normal for Pennsylvania to get a March snowstorm, and he noted that the snow will melt relatively quickly, since temperatures will head into the 40s for much of the state later in the week.

“That’s the good thing about these March storms. They can be bad sometimes, but they’re not around for an extended period of time,” Rick Musser, PennDOT’s assistant Lancaster County manager, told the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era.

Numerous schools were expected to cancel classes Wednesday, while the Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh reported that Fayette County’s acting president judge ordered jurors not to report to the courthouse Wednesday because of the snowfall.

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