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Fay-West accumulation less than expected

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Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier
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Sunday, March 2, 2014, 9:34 p.m.

The Fay-West area was spared the larger snow accumulations on Sunday that had been predicted last week for the area, according to a meteorologist.

And according to weather forecasters, by afternoon Monday, the area should be in the clear.

Just past 3 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh posted that the winter storm warning that had been issued for the area, would expire at 7 a.m. Monday. Earlier on Sunday, the warning had been posted to last until 1 p.m. Monday. Westmoreland's winter storm warning expired at midnight.

National Weather Service said the Fay-West area could possibly receive three to five inches of snow in the most recent storm to hit the area. National Weather Service reported the most intense snow would occur late Sunday evening until shortly after midnight.

Snow began to fall in the Fay-West about 9 a.m. Sunday. The snowfall made travel slow and slippery in many areas. It stopped for a short period later Sunday afternoon.

“The roads were bad up the mountains but they're not much better around here,” said Kim Haines of Saltlick. “I don't think that people take this fine kind of snow seriously, but it accumulated quickly.”

Fayette and Westmoreland 911 centers were kept busy with various emergency calls.

At about 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Dunbar and Morrell firemen were called to a two-vehicle accident on Pechin Road near the Fayette County Fairgrounds. Two ambulances were called to the scene. Everson firemen were called to an accident on Kingview Road about 2 p.m. where a vehicle was reported on its roof. No further information was available for either incident.

Dawson firemen were called to a Main Street home about 1:20 p.m. Sunday for what was reported as a chimney fire.

The recent snow came from a storm front named Titan.

According to Accuweather, the area was spared the larger snow accumulations that had been predicted late last week when Titan took a turn to the south. Forecasts late last week predicted the area could receive more than 11 inches.

“That has been the trend for the past two days,” Accuweather meteorologist Carl Erikson said. “We ended up more on the northern fringe of it.”

By Monday afternoon, most of the storm will be to the east of the area.

And the week ahead looks a little milder, with temperatures expected to climb slowly.

“Monday night will be very cold with the temperatures well below zero,” Erikson said. “Temperatures from there will gradually increase with Tuesday in the lower 30s, Wednesday in the upper 30s and by Friday we could even see temperatures in the 50s.”

Before Titan hit the area, the Fay-West region had received more than 58 inches of snow since October, well above the average snowfall but still not enough for the record books — yet.

“The top 10 most snow accumulations are listed and the 10th spot is 62.6 inches. So we are fairly close to that,” Erikson said. That 62.6-inch record was set in the winter of 1963-64. “The No. 1 most is the winter of 1950 to 1951 when there was 82 inches of snow.”

March will have more cold and snow expected, with a bit of a reprieve later in the month.

“We'll see a little relief from the cold in the second half of the month,” Erikson said. “During the first half, there is still some opportunity for arctic intrusions as we transition from winter to spring.”

Erikson said although the area hadn't experienced many large storms as far as accumulation, it had experienced a multitude of storms that left the area covered with one or two inches. And those add up, he said. The winter of 2013-14 will probably end up in the record books.

“We had a few decent storms but it's all the other ones that have nickel-and- dimed us,” Erikson said. “Those that dropped an inch here and an inch there have really added up.”

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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