Forecast warns of icy mix Saturday

Ice and roads don’t mix.

A National Weather Service advisory is warning county residents of a potentially icy Saturday, according to the NOAA website.

A wintry mix of snow and freezing rain is expected to hit Centre County between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

A low-pressure situation developing over the Ohio Valley could bring snow and sleet at the beginning, meteorologist Craig Evanego said, but the main problem will be the freezing rain expected later in the day.

A tenth of an inch of ice is expected to accumulate, Evanego said, saying “It really doesn’t take much at all to make things hazardous.”

Precipitation is expected during the morning hours before warmer air will sweep through Saturday evening into Sunday, he said.

“For the first few hours of the precipitation it could be pretty slick out there,” he said.

In preparation for the wintry mix, PennDOT had trucks out Friday evening preparing the roads for weekend travelers.

Trucks began spraying salt brine in the evening, maintenance manager Chris Maney said. Trucks would be focusing on the main routes through the county, including interstates 80 and 99 and U.S. routes 322 and 220.

“It’s just preparation and making sure the trucks are ready so when (the drivers) roll in tomorrow, they can jump in and go,” Maney said.

Keeping ice off the road before it has a chance to form is the main battle, he said, adding that the idea is to keep enough material on the road for traffic to flow so the road won’t freeze. After that, it’s a game of maintenance until the temperatures rise.

“No one likes ice,” he said.