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Roads start to clear after unexpected snowfall snarls traffic

Jacob Tierney
| Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, 5:30 a.m.
A PennDOT plow and salt truck maintains River Road in the Mosgrove area on Tuesday.
Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013
Louis B. Ruediger
A PennDOT plow and salt truck maintains River Road in the Mosgrove area on Tuesday. Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013

An unexpected snowfall that arrived early Monday created hazardous conditions for morning commuters across Western Pennsylvania.

Dispatchers in Westmoreland and Allegheny counties reported numerous crashes — the result of snow and ice on the roads.

Snow began falling around 2 a.m. and continued until around sunrise, according to the National Weather Service.

The narrow band of winter weather was caused by a somewhat unusual situation in which a jetstream moves in parallel with an advancing cold front, bringing precipitation with it, National Weather Service meteorologist John Darnley said.

"It happened to sit right over us last night," he said.

Some areas received as much as five inches of snow.

PennDOT told Tribune-Review news partner WPXI that the snowfall was unexpected. The agency had to rent plow trucks to supplement its fleet early Monday morning.

Pittsburgh Public Schools announced a two-hour delay.

The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement early Monday, warning that a line of moderate to heavy snow was stretching toward Pittsburgh, moving quickly and obscuring visibility on the turnpike and other major highways.

The weather is expected to mostly be clear for the rest of the week, according to the weather service. Temperatures will be in the 30s and 40s on Monday and Tuesday, potentially reaching the low 50s by midweek before dipping back down to freezing by the weekend.

No more snow is expected, though minor rainshowers are possible.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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