UPDATE: Winter Storm Warning; Up to Seven Inches of Snow Predicted for Sewickley Valley
The storm is expected to produce the first significant snowfall of the season and to snarl ground and air travel plans. Stay home if you can, and check your flight status before heading to Pittsburgh International Airport.
The National Weather Service in Moon Township has issued a winter storm warning for a wide portion of Western Pennsylvania, including Sewickley, Leetsdale and neighboring communities, effective from 5 a.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday.
Between four to seven inches of snow are expected to accumulate throughout the day, with heavy snow occurring mid-Wednesday morning through the afternoon.
At Pittsburgh International Airport spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said runways have been cleared of snow at the airport, though dozens of arriving flights have been cancelled.
"At this point our runways are clear," Jenny said. "But we have had a number of cancellations. We always recommend that people check their flights before coming to the airport."
According to the forecast:
- Heavy snow is expected, along with the potential of sleet and freezing rain.
- The potential of four to eight inches of snow, with snowfall rates in excess of an inch an hour are possible.
- Snow will develop Wednesday morning and quickly become heavy. A period of very heavy snow is likely late Wednesday morning into early Wednesday afternoon.
- Hazardous travel conditions are expected because of reduced visibility and snow accumulation.
Here is the latest forecast:
- Wednesday: Snow, mainly after 9 a.m. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 33. Breezy, with a east wind 16 to 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 7 inches possible.
- Wednesday Night: Snow showers, mainly before midnight. Low around 28. East wind 11 to 16 mph becoming north 5 to 10 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.
- Thursday: A chance of snow showers, mainly before 4 p.m. Cloudy, with a high near 33. West wind 11 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.