‘Arctic blast’ forecast to follow Wednesday

Old Man Winter is here to stay, and he’s bringing the cold with him.

Light snow or flurries could hit the area Tuesday, with accumulation up to an inch, AccuWeather senior meteorologist John Gresiak told the CDT Monday.

At about 3 p.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather conditions warning, saying an area of heavy snow was expected to hit 13 counties, including Centre County and neighboring Clearfield, Cambria, Blair, Huntingdon, Mifflin and Snyder. Affected municipalities included State College and Pleasant Gap.

“Visibilities will drop to  1/2 mile or less as the snow spreads north,” the warning said. “Expect road conditions to deteriorate quickly.”

Total Tuesday snow accumulation was expected to reach 1-2 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Things will warm back up a bit Wednesday before the area gets hit with a “brutal arctic blast” Thursday with temperatures in the teens and wind that will make it feel more like zero or lower, Gresiak said Monday, with some areas getting an inch or two of snow and others just a dusting. Then there’s the weekend, which Gresiak said would probably result in a school-closing storm if it were to happen during the week.

With the approach of more winter weather, municipalities have begun reminding residents of what is expected of them during periods of snowfall.

Pennsylvania state police is reminding drivers to clear snow and ice from their vehicles before hitting the road, or a fine may follow.

According to state law, drivers must have a clear, unobstructed view of the road at all times, a police news release said. Failure to clear snow, ice and any other debris may result in a traffic stop.

The fine for driving with an obstructed view is $25, the release said, but could add up to more than $100 with administrative and other fees added on. Additional laws address if falling snow causes serious injury or death of another party, which could result in a fine up to $1,000 for each offense.

Ferguson Township issued a reminder Monday that residents are not to park on the streets when snowfall reaches 2 or more inches. Vehicles that remain could be ticketed or towed.

The State College borough issued a statement notifying residents that sidewalks must be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours after a snowfall has ceased. Anti-skid materials, such as rock salt, calcium chloride, crushed charcoal or kitty litter, should be spread to create traction.

If the borough manager issues a “snow emergency,” the reminder said, all vehicles must be removed from the street to allow snow plows access. Cars parked in posted snow removal zones or cars parked in violation of any posted ordinance of the borough may be ticketed or towed at the owner’s expense.

The downtown parking garages and parking lots are possible alternatives to parking on the street.

If county residents must travel, they are encouraged to log into www.511pa.com for the latest Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and turnpike advisories. From the site, drivers can see the location of PennDOT’s numerous plow trucks and how recently they’ve cleared a route as well as updated road conditions across the state.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews