No real accumulation expected in first snow for Washington, Greene counties

Karen Mansfield/Observer-Reporter

Raindrops fall as a truck turns from South Central Avenue to West Pike Street in Canonsburg Thursday night.

Meteorologists are expecting sub-freezing temperatures and some snowfall, but no serious accumulation for Washington and Greene counties late this week.

“There is no reason to rush out and stock your house full of bread and toilet paper,” said Tom Lovell, who oversees North Strabane Township’s 10 snow routes as municipal director of public works.

There was nothing particularly unusual Thursday morning about the light, steady rain over Washington County and elsewhere in the Pittsburgh region that was expected to turn into snow later in the afternoon, when temperatures were predicted to coast from the mid-40s to mid-30s. For most areas, it would have been the first noticeable snow of the season.

“We’re not looking for any kind of accumulation today, and there may be some rain showers and snow showers this evening,” said Lee Hendricks, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, late Thursday morning. “At the most, you’re probably looking at a dusting on the ground.”

Still, local officials said they were keeping an eye on things. Lovell said he would have half his fleet “up and ready to go,” with the others in reserve. He said he was more worried about possible ice overnight. His crews would be “spot-salting ice as needed,” he said.

Hendricks predicted the temperature would fall into the mid-20s, but also said he didn’t expect much standing water to accumulate and freeze. He said there was a slim chance of ice on the roads, especially on bridges and overpasses.

“There is an off chance that people should pay attention, but I don’t think it’s a significant concern at this point,” Hendricks said.

Waynesburg Borough manager Mike Simms said the borough’s streets department had its plows and salt spreader ready if needed.

A few workers are out for illness, leaving the department “a little short-staffed,” Simms added, “but as long as the snow doesn’t get too heavy, we should be able to muddle through.”

Hendricks said what he was predicting was “really not out of the norm.”

“In this time of year, the month of November, we average for the month about 2.1 inches of snow,” Hendricks said. “So it averages out to about a 10th of an inch of snow a day.”

Meanwhile, Allegheny County public works Director Stephen Shanley said officials were monitoring conditions. The department’s 20 salt trucks could be deployed if necessary.

“While we are expecting little to no accumulation from today’s snow event, we are prepared in case the forecast changes or problem areas arise on our roads and bridges,” Shanley said in a statement.

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