PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A historic snowstorm is certainly possible today as large amounts of snow are forecast. We already saw a blizzard this month that dropped almost 7 inches of snow.
That storm dropped the second-highest snow in Pittsburgh in five years and the fifth-most snow in a day since 2010 on the first of the month.
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Buckle up as this system could potentially drop more.
How much snow could there be?
On the GFS long-haul model, it can be 6 to 10 inches depending on the snow conditions. It’s always safe to go 15-1, at least for Pittsburgh, and that would put the range in the 8-inch range.
Another popular model, the EURO, forecasts 10 to 15 inches of snow depending on the ratio. That’s just a ridiculous amount of snow.
If anything, raw model data shows that our snow forecast is too low.
At this point there are two options: there will be a historic snowstorm or a broken forecast, with some of the forecasted snow coming in as rain.
The chances of a broken forecast are decreasing by the hour, and the road crews are rightly preparing for historic snow depths.
So what should you expect
Things will officially start at 7:00 a.m. this morning as all notices and warnings begin at that time.
To be honest, nothing will likely be on the radar at this point. The model data was fairly consistent with little to no snow arriving before noon, with the evening drive home being the time that will be hardest hit.
Use the morning hours to prepare. Temperatures for the day that fluctuate around the freezing line are expected to be heavy and wet snow.
As soon as it starts, probably in the afternoon and evening, power outages are to be expected. So make sure your mobile devices are charged and the flashlights are ready.
According to the forecast, the chances of snow before noon are rather low, and the snow rolls from the south to the northeast as the afternoon approaches.
At a temperature close to freezing, expect heavy and wet snow that quickly covers the ground. Snow rates will increase rapidly and the evening commute is expected to be a challenge. Road conditions will be poor throughout the evening, with the heaviest snow falling between 7:00 p.m. and midnight.
At this point, snow rates in excess of an inch per hour can occur in some spots, with whiteout conditions possible.
Don’t be on the street unless you absolutely have to – if you have to, give street crews plenty of space to work and do what they need to do.
Almost as soon as the snow begins, it ends shortly after midnight in most places.
Looking ahead, the rest of the day on Thursday will be dry and windy. On Friday morning, possibly just before midnight on Thursday, there is still a small chance of snow, with some light on both Saturday and Sunday.
What is noteworthy in general is that the forecast temperatures drop after a large snowfall with snow on the ground.
At this point, it looks like temperatures will be in the low 30s for Wednesday and Thursday. Highs in the upper 30s on Fridays and 40s are possible on weekends.
PennDOT encourages motorists to avoid unnecessary travel, but people who get on the road will experience reduced speeds on I-70 and I-79. PennDOT is reducing this speed limit to 45 mph and commercial vehicles are also restricted to the right-hand lane.
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