First significant snowfall of season expected to start Thursday

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Jan. 5—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — After a more mild winter, colder temperatures entering the region throughout the next two days are expected to lead to the first significant snowfall of the season.

"The southern tier of Pa. looks like a prime area to get snow with this," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Paul Walker said.

Beginning at around 5 p.m. on Thursday and progressing through Friday night, 2 to 4 inches is expected for much of southern Pennsylvania with a chance for more, while the rest of the state will get possibly 1-3 inches.

Walker said the winter weather is part of a band moving out of the Midwest, mixing with colder air from the north, and moving north-east.

The weather band will travel over parts of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia before hitting the southern and western portions of Pennsylvania and heading up the East Coast on Friday.

"It's a big swinging storm," Walker said.

AccuWeather is predicting that, while moving across the Midwest, the storm will start out weak but as it "shifts over the southern and central Appalachians later Thursday and Thursday night, it will unleash accumulating snow across the region."

Moderate to heavy snowfall is forecasted for some southern portions of that area, such as West Virginia.

Monica Jones, PennDOT safety press officer, recommended motorists to check the forecast and the cameras on 511PA.com before heading out on Thursday and Friday.

She noted that although the storm isn't expected to stick around long, drivers should still "stay alert and use caution when driving, give themselves plenty of time to reach destinations."

To prepare, PennDOT crews will pre-treat major roadways, including U.S. Routes 219, 22 and 422.

Checks will also be done on equipment, materials and staffing.

Because this storm is supposed to affect much of the state, PennDOT will hold a statewide conference call as well to provide "situational awareness of what each district has planned across the state."

"Crews will be out plowing once snowfall starts, but the public should be reminded that roadways will not be completely free of snow while it's falling," Jones said.

Walker also warned that following the end of this winter weather on Friday, there could be some lake-effect snow in the northwestern part of the state.

Additionally, more cold temperatures are expected by early next week.

"It's going to get bitterly cold behind this storm," Walker said.

The region is forecasted to have a high of 27 degrees on Monday with a low of 11 degrees and possibly another 1-2 inches of snow.

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