The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 5, 2013

March madness: Snow expected to be heaviest in southern Pa.


STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

JOHNSTOWN — 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 Tuesday night and lasting into today, a National Weather Service forecaster said.

AccuWeather and the National Weather Service, both out of State College, said that the Johnstown area can expect about 6 inches of snow.

Lesser amounts will fall to the north with northern Clearfield County only expected to receive an inch of snow, said Greg DeVoir, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Kristina Pydynowski of AccuWeather said greater amounts will fall to the south with southern Somerset County expected to see 12 inches of the white stuff.

The snowfall would be one of the more significant storms of the season, she said. The Johnstown region saw about 6 inches of snow on Dec. 21 and 22 and 7 inches of snow on Dec. 26, she said.

Meteorologist Aaron Tyburski of the National Weather Service said the snowfall will move west to east, with the heaviest snowfall on the Eastern Seaboard occurring in Virginia. In Pennsylvania, it was predicted to begin in western Pennsylvania after sunset Tuesday and end in eastern Pennsylvania after noon today, 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 2 to 3 inches, while Pittsburgh can expect 6 to 8 inches and Harrisburg can expect a half-foot. The morning commute will be tricky, with snow falling at about an inch per hour in some areas, Tyburski said.

The state 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 today, while the Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh reported that Fayette County’s acting president judge ordered jurors not to report to the courthouse today because of the snowfall.

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