‘Very active weather pattern’: More snow in forecast

cpassante@centredaily.comFebruary 3, 2014 

Most Centre County schools were closed, and messy roads resulted in several traffic accidents as heavy, wet snow blanketed the region Monday.

But that’s nothing compared with the snowstorm coming Tuesday night and into Wednesday, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service in State College issued a winter storm watch beginning late Tuesday, when as much as 8 inches of snow is expected to fall through late Wednesday afternoon.

“Once again, a low-pressure system will move through the area, probably coming up through the Ohio River Valley and sliding off the East Coast,” said Elyse Colbert, an NWS meteorologist in State College. “It covers a broad area.”

The first low pressure system began early Monday, and by noon, about 3 inches of snow had fallen. Bald Eagle, Bellefonte, Penns Valley and State College area school districts all closed for the day.

Six flights in and out of University Park Airport were canceled and another delayed, and a host of traffic accidents tied up police and emergency crews much of Monday morning.

“We have lots of crashes but minor injuries or no injuries,” said State College police Lt. Mark Argiro.

In Patton Township, a woman suffered moderate neck, head and back injuries when she lost control of her Nissan Murano on Monday morning, according to state police in Philipsburg.

Mary Lou Deitz, 65, of Eighty Four, was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center after her car left the right side of Interstate 99 near Exit 68 in Patton Township and slid down the berm, getting stuck on a guardrail, police said.

The driver of a Subaru lost control on the slippery pavement of North Atherton Street at Douglas Drive in Patton Township and landed atop a guardrail Monday morning. No injuries were reported.

West Penn Power had reported no significant power outages by late Monday in Centre County.

Harris Township declared a snow emergency. Most Centre Region municipalities order snow emergencies when 2 or more inches of snow falls. That means vehicles must be removed from streets until the emergency has ended. In addition, property owners must clear sidewalks within 24 hours after snow has stopped.

According to forecasters, you should keep those shovels handy.

“We have a winter storm watch issued for Tuesday to Wednesday evening,” the National Weather Service’s Colbert said. “We’re looking at snowfall at 6 inches or more. There’s also a possibility of sleet and freezing rain.”

Centre County won’t be completely out of the woods on heavy snow. Another storm is heading this way in time for the weekend, Colbert said.

“We have a storm (Monday), a storm Wednesday and another storm this weekend,” she said. “We’re in a very active weather pattern.”

The National Weather Service has not predicted a storm total for the weekend, but “heavy” snow is in the forecast.

CDT reporter Lori Falce contributed to this report. Follow Christopher Passante on Twitter @ChrisPassanteCDT.

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