Storm brings snow, chill to Westmoreland, Fayette
The winter storm that brought a mixture of rain, freezing rain and a few inches of snow in Westmoreland and Fayette counties on Tuesday is expected to blanket the region on Wednesday morning with a steady snowfall, tapering to snow showers in the afternoon and then flurries, the National Weather Service said.
The weather service in Moon is predicting that Westmoreland and Fayette counties will get 2 to 4 inches of snow overnight, plus an additional 1 to 2 inches of snow during the day, as a result of lake-effect snow, said meteorologist Richard Kane. The snowfall on the ridges of the Laurel Mountains in eastern Westmoreland and Fayette could be as much as 6 inches, including several inches on Wednesday before the snowstorms move east, Kane said.
The snowfall will be followed by below-freezing temperatures on Thanksgiving, with highs only in the mid-20s, and temperatures even lower in the ridges, Kane said.
“The snow will be around for a while,” Kane said.
What might not be good news for the thousands of people traveling to join family and friends for Thanksgiving has turned out to be a blessing for the region's ski resorts on the border of Fayette and Somerset counties.
Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Resort are planning to be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday for daytime skiing and snowboarding, said Anna Weltz, spokeswoman for both resorts.
About eight slopes and trails will be open at Seven Springs, while skiers will have six-to-eight slopes available at Hidden Valley.
“However, if this storm pans out, we could add more terrain,” Weltz said Tuesday.
Both resorts are expected to be closed Monday through Thursday of next week, Weltz said.
Emergency dispatchers in Westmoreland, Fayette and Somerset counties reported a handful of weather-related vehicle accidents on Tuesday morning in each county. None of the crashes were serious, officials said.
Despite the steady rain throughout the day, there were no reports of flooding as of Tuesday evening.
Staff writer Rossilynne Skena Culgan contributed to this report. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.