Get your shovels out: Snow near
Snow is forecast for Monday afternoon and evening in the Fay-West region.
Paul Pastelok, head of the long-range forecasting section of AccuWeather, said we should not expect the heavy snow that struck the upper Midwest this past week, but it will get cold and there will be some snow.
“On the 19th and 20th, it will get pretty cold, and it will struggle to get out of the 30s,” Pastelok said.
Pastelok added the region will experience waves of cold, sometimes accompanied by snow, “but not excessive. It can lay down 1 to 2 inches.”
The latest forecast models suggest winter will strike the area, beginning Monday.
Mike Kennedy of the NWS in Moon said another area of low pressure is forecast to develop on Monday.
“We’re trying to make a determination on a snow amount,” Kennedy said Friday. “We think it should be about 2 to 3 inches with a little more in the ridges.”
Kennedy said the southwestern counties could be near the rain/snow line, but the computer forecast models were calling for the event to be at least all wet snow.
“The brunt of the snow will fall on Monday afternoon through the early evening,” Kennedy said. “Erie and areas in the snow belt from Meadville on north can expect up to 15 inches.”
Kennedy said the forecast models have been pretty consistent.
“It should be mostly snow,” he said.
Highs will reach into the 30s Monday through Wednesday with lows in the upper teens to mid 20s. Temperatures will drop into the single digits on Wednesday morning and will not recover too much that day.
Tom Klines of AccuWeather agreed.
“It looks like you’re going to be on the edge,” Klines said. “You will get several inches, but you won’t have to go too far to the west before the totals dwindle. There will be enough snow to shovel. It should be around 3 inches. It looks like, on high ground, there will be more.
“It will not be warming up much. The highs all three days will be in the low to mid 30s. On Tuesday and probably even Wednesday, the wind will be blowing.”
Klines said the temperature will warm up a bit on Thursday and Friday, with temperatures reaching into the upper 40s on Friday.
Pastelok said the days around Thanksgiving could be bad, too. “It will be cold on Thanksgiving and the models are showing the possibility of snow. Black Friday could be a problem. A moisture stream is forecast to be coming from the Gulf of Mexico. It could produce heavy snow or, as the temperatures rise, it could be a rain event.”
Road crews ready
Area road crews should be in good shape.
PennDOT has been receiving its supplies of road salt since the end of last winter, according to Valerie Petersen, public relations coordinator for PennDOT District 12, Uniontown. She reminded drivers to prepare for the winter weather.
Drivers should make sure they have good tires and windshield wipers and make sure equipment such as headlights and taillights are in working order. They also should adjust their speed and make allowances for other drivers, she said.
Vernon Ohler, Connellsville public works foreman, said his workers and equipment are ready.
“We’re full (of road salt),” Ohler said. “Everything is ready to go.”
Dunbar is also ready, according to secretary Tammy Nedrow who said the borough topped off its salt supply on Thursday and has already attached the salt spreader and plow to the truck.
South Connellsville has adequate road salt on hand, according to borough councilman Jim Swink.
Scottdale has enough road salt to take care of the roads for three snowfalls, borough manager Angelo Pallone said.
Mt. Pleasant is also ready, according to borough Mayor Gerald Lucia.
“We have plenty of salt,” Lucia said. “We actually prepared far in advance, buying it early. We’re filled to capacity.
“I hope we don’t have to use too much of it before the end of the year,” he added.
Lucia was concerned about the effect the weather might have on the borough’s firemen, if they have to fight a fire. He said there could be problems with falls, especially when climbing ladders.
Lucia said wet snow is heavy and could cause problems with power lines.
West Penn Power is completing a program to prepare equipment for the winter, officials reported. Power lines are being inspected for cracked wires, damaged poles and crossbars and insulators. Tree limbs are being trimmed from the wires to maintain proper clearances.
Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at [email protected] or 724-626-3538.