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Shovels, snowplows at the ready across Pa.

| Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 9:06 p.m.

HARRISBURG — Much of southern Pennsylvania can expect its biggest storm this winter, with up to a foot of snow forecast for higher elevations between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh that began overnight and will last into Wednesday, a National Weather Service forecaster said.

Meteorologist Aaron Tyburski of the National Weather Service in State College said the snowfall will move west to east, with the heaviest snowfall on the Eastern Seaboard. In Pennsylvania, it began in western Pennsylvania late on Tuesday and end in eastern Pennsylvania after noon on Wednesday, he said.

The heaviest snowfall will be in south-central Pennsylvania's more rugged terrain south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, with 10 to 12 inches falling on areas stretching from Somerset through Adams counties, Tyburski said.

The snowfall will taper off quickly to the north, with less than an inch north of Interstate 80. Philadelphia can expect two to three inches, while Pittsburgh can expect six to eight inches and Harrisburg can expect a half-foot. The Wednesday morning commute was expected to be tricky, with snow falling at about an inch per hour in some areas, Tyburski said.

Airlines canceled five flights bound for Pittsburgh International Airport on Tuesday night, the flight tracking website flightstats.com said about 5:30 p.m.

Four of the flights were scheduled to arrive from Chicago airports, and one was to originate in Dallas, the website said.

Airlines already had canceled two departures from Pittsburgh for Wednesday morning, one to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and the other to Washington's Dulles International.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation does not plan to pre-treat Pittsburgh-area roads because of the rain expected to precede the snow, spokesman James Struzzi said. But the agency's snowplows will be “full force” overnight to clear roads before the morning commute, Struzzi said.

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