PITTSBURGH - A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued for our area from 7 p.m. Sunday night until 1 p.m. Monday.
UPDATE 11 p.m.: Bitter cold air has overspread the region and air temperatures are falling to near zero.
With a northwest wind at 10 to 15 miles per hour including higher gusts, the wind chill can reach to a dangerous level of 10 degrees below zero.
Any slushy areas will re-freeze causing slick spots.
Extremely cold temperatures will persist into early on Tuesday when the wind will shift from the south, delivering milder air, ahead of a disturbance that will bring widespread rain after midnight Tuesday through Wednesday.
UPDATE 9 p.m.: While some schools are already out for the holiday Monday, two districts in the South Hills canceled because of the frigid temperatures.
Brentwood School District is closed Monday, according to a tweet from the superintendent.
The Brentwood Borough SD will be closed tomorrow January 21, 2019 due to extremely cold temperatures. The board meeting WILL be held at 7pm. The make-up day will be Monday, April 22, 2019. #staysafe— Dr. Burch (@AmyMBurchDEd) January 20, 2019
The school board meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. will still be held.
UPDATE 7:25 p.m.: All vehicle restrictions have been lifted statewide, according to PennDOT.
UPDATE 6 p.m.: A warming station will be open at the Light of Life on North Avenue in Pittsburgh.
The hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., seven days a week.
People coming in to warm up can also grab a scarf, gloves or hat.
"Not only are we able to help people in a pinch get out of the cold, but our main goal is to form relationships with the people who come to us for whatever reason and to help them make sure they are safe this winter," said Kate Wadsworth, spokesperson for Light of Life.
UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: As the sun sets and temps remain in the teens, many roads that were slushy or snow-covered will begin to refreeze quickly.
Road crews across the city have been working tirelessly to make sure roads are cleared and treated properly, but due to the thousands of miles of streets in Pittsburgh and the sparesly populated country roads ins some of the outer counties not every road is in pristine condition.
Time lapse of my ride into work. Slid on some ice right when I got in front of the station. Again be careful out there especially at the temps drop. Also take the time to clean off your car, not good for you or the other drivers. #wpxi #WPXIStorm pic.twitter.com/qCwFSBFbvi— Jamie Cashdollar (@Cashmoney2292) January 20, 2019
UPDATE 3:07 p.m. Cleanup will continue with full PennDOT crews on the roads that will continue focusing on the interstates and associated ramps, as well as secondary roadways.
Crews will be watching for refreezing as the temperatures plummet into the single digits.
Interstates in Allegheny Co mostly clear. Mains roads like McKnight have spotty areas with snow and ice...any part that’s in the shade.— Courtney Brennan (@WPXI_Courtney) January 20, 2019
The bright sun today helped out a lot with the cleanup. #WPXI
A spokesperson told Channel 11 despite the cold temperatures, the sun in the afternoon helped with clearing the snow and ice.
Interstates in Allegheny County are mostly clear.
UPDATE 12:54 p.m. - More of the commercial vehicle and speed restrictions on the interstates have been lifted.
the ban on commercial vehicles remains in effect on Interstate 79 north of Interstate 80; Interstate 81 north of Interstate 476 at Clarks Summit; Interstate 84; Interstate 86; and Interstate 90.
The 45-mph restriction remains in place for Interstates 79, 80 between the Ohio line and the Clearfield-Jefferson county line, 81 north of I-476, 84, 86, 90, 279, 376, and 579.
UPDATE 12:00 p.m. - Port Authority has restored all service to the "T" following a flash freeze.
As of noon, the light rail system is back up and running.— Port Authority PGH (@PGHtransit) January 20, 2019
UPDATE 11:00 a.m. - More of the remaining commercial vehicle bans were lifted.
The ban was lifted from Interstate 79 between the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 80, Interstate 80 between the Ohio state line and the junction with Interstate 81, Interstate 99, Interstate 180 and Interstate 376 south of Interstate 80.
The ban remains in effect on Interstate 79 north of Interstate 80; Interstate 81 north of Interstate 80; Interstate 84; Interstate 86; Interstate 90; Interstate 380; and Interstate 476, the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike north of Interstate 80.
UPDATE 10:07 a.m. - A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued for the entire area. It will be in effect from 7 p.m. Sunday until 1 p.m. on Monday.
UPDATE 9:52 a.m. - Meteorologist Danielle Dozier says we were close to blizzard criteria in Pittsburgh this morning.
SO CLOSE to blizzard criteria here in #Pittsburgh earlier this morning. Blizzard = Sustained winds/frequent gusts 35 mph & blowing snow reducing vis to 1/4 mile for 3 hrs. #PAwx #WPXIStorm pic.twitter.com/sjrQ6i6BgZ— Danielle Dozier WPXI (@DanielleDozier) January 20, 2019
UPDATE 9:30 a.m. - Kevin Benson showed up snow totals across the area. Some places north still received nearly 10 inches of snow.
UPDATE 9:00 a.m. - Snow is moving out, but it could still take road crews a few hours to clear all the ice and snow.
UPDATE 8:34 a.m. - Channel 11's Renee Wallace says there is a few inches of snow and light flurries in Industry, Beaver County.
UPDATE 8:33 a.m. - Roads are snow covered in some spots in North Huntingdon.
UPDATE 8:18 a.m. - The Port Authority Blue Line is back open after it was closed due to a flash freeze.
The Blue Line is running from South Hills Village to the North Shore. Shuttle buses are continuing to operate in place of the Red Line (via West Liberty Ave) and Blue Line Library (via Rt. 88).— Port Authority PGH (@PGHtransit) January 20, 2019
Crews continue to work on the red line.
UPDATE 8 a.m. - All four Carnegie Museums will not open until noon today due to the weather, according to a tweet from them.
UPDATE 7:41 a.m. - The commercial vehicle ban has been lifted from more interstates.
The ban was lifted from Interstate 70 from the Maryland line to Breezewood and the Pennsylvania Turnpike mainline, Interstate 76; Interstate 78 between the junction with Interstate 81 to the New Jersey state line; Interstate 80 between Interstate 81 and the New Jersey state line; Interstate 81 between the junction with Interstate 83 to Interstate 80; Interstate 476, the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, from Interstate 276, the Turnpike mainline, to Interstate 80; U.S. 22 from Interstate 78 to the New Jersey state line and Pennsylvania 33 from Interstate 78 to Interstate 80.
The ban remains in effect on Interstate 80 west of Interstate 81, Interstate 81 north of Interstate 80, Interstate 84, Interstate 86, Interstate 90, Interstate 99, Interstate 180 and Interstate 380.
UPDATE 7:30 a.m. - Channel 11's traffic expert Trisha Pittman says there are still a lot of portions on Interstate 79 covered in snow.
Still Seeing a Lot of Snow Cover on Portions of Interstate 79. CREWS ARE WORKING to Clear the Roads, But Are Fighting the SNOW THAT CONTINUES TO FALL. #PittsburghTraffic #WPXIStorm #wpxi pic.twitter.com/5Nx2ow8w6K— WPXI Traffic (@WPXITraffic) January 20, 2019
UPDATE 7:00 a.m. - PennDOT is warning drivers to stay off the roads due to ice and snow and to let them clear the roads.
UPDATE 6:51 a.m. - Vehicles continue to get stuck going up Bates Street in Oakland. Channel 11's Mike Holden said there is a layer of ice underneath snow-coated roads.
Very bad situation on Bates in Oakland as you’re getting off 376. Layer of ice underneath light snow coated/slush coated roads. Cars stuck farther up the hill. People driving with hazards on. Be safe! @WPXI @WPXITraffic pic.twitter.com/K4QTOmSoRd— Mike Holden (@WPXIMikeHolden) January 20, 2019
UPDATE 6:39 a.m. 1/20 - The City of Pittsburgh is now in a Level 3 Alert, according to Pittsburgh Public Works Director Mike Gable.
Here is what that means:
UPDATE 6:34 a.m. 1/20 - Channel 11's Mike Holden is now in South Oakland.
He says cars are pulled over and traffic is backing up off the highway due to snowy and icy conditions.
Here’s a look at the backlog of cars trying to get off the highway onto Bates St in South Oakland. The roads are very, very icy. Drivers struggling to get up the hill. @WPXITraffic @WPXI pic.twitter.com/yuJnPdKfVj— Mike Holden (@WPXIMikeHolden) January 20, 2019
UPDATE 6:24 a.m. 1/20 - Roads are a mess after a flash freeze and snow falling in Zelienople, according to meteorologist Scott Harbaugh. Over 2 inches of snow has already fallen in the area.
UPDATE 6:24 a.m. 1/20 - Channel 11 traffic expert Trisha Pittman said PennDOT crews are making progress on the Parkway West at Green Tree Hill, but snow continues to fall and temperatures continue to drop.
PennDOT Road Crews MAKING PROGRESS on the Parkway West at Green Tree Hill. HOWEVER, Snow Continues to Fall and Temps Continue to Drop. Crews will have to Switch to Calcium Chloride. DON'T VENTURE OUT JUST YET! #PittsburghTraffic #WPXIStorm #wpxi pic.twitter.com/S2n1j4qUJH— WPXI Traffic (@WPXITraffic) January 20, 2019
UPDATE 6:12 a.m. 1/20 - A car has spun out on the Beaver Valley Expressway.
Car spins out on Beaver Valley Expressway. Road is covered with now. Live reports on Channel 11 Morning News pic.twitter.com/lwPbnVwOkq— Lori Houy (@WPXI_Lori) January 20, 2019
UPDATE 6:05 a.m. 1/20 - Channel 11's Mike Holden said the snow is blowing sideways in Pittsburgh's Friendship neighborhood.
Wipers going, snow blowing sideways in Friendship. @WPXI Snow coating roads—which are awful—but it’s interesting to see that the cars parked on the street barely have a dusting on them. pic.twitter.com/Yj2ycNz7gN— Mike Holden (@WPXIMikeHolden) January 20, 2019
UPDATE 6 a.m. 1/20 - Snow has blanketed Cranberry. Channel 11 meteorologist Scott Harbaugh is calling it a "frozen tundra."
UPDATE 5:26 a.m. 1/20 - PennDOT has reduced speed limits on several roadways.
BREAKING NEWS: PennDOT has Officially Reduced the Speed Limit to 45 MPH on Interstates, State Routes and Parkways. STAY INSIDE AND OFF THE ROADS, IF YOU CAN. As Temperatures Drop, Crews Will Change Method of Treatment. #PittsburghTraffic #WPXIStorm #wpxi pic.twitter.com/xJPyWvefuZ— WPXI Traffic (@WPXITraffic) January 20, 2019
PennDOT officials are urging motorists to avoid unnecessary travel, but have reduced speeds to 45mph on the following highways for those that have to head out:
- Interstates 79, 279 (Parkway North), 376 (between Mercer and Westmoreland counties), and 579
- U.S. 22/30
- Route 28
UPDATE 5:24 a.m. - 1/20 - West Penn Power is reporting that there are 859 customers without power in Westmoreland County and 213 customers without power in Allegheny County.
Officials tell Channel 11 all power will be back on by 7 a.m.
UPDATE 5:10 a.m. 1/20- Channel 11's Lori Houy is tracking road conditions across the area. The Parkway West is snow covered.
Checking out road conditions in traffic tracker. On our way to Beaver Falls. Parkway West is snow covered. Watch Channel 11 Morning News right now for live reports pic.twitter.com/GPM29fXD4p— Lori Houy (@WPXI_Lori) January 20, 2019
UPDATE 5:01 a.m. 1/20 - Snow is coming down in Pittsburgh's Bloomfield neighborhood, causing slick road conditions.
Snow coming down in Bloomfield along Liberty Ave. Very, very slick road conditions. Snow covered roads. Haven’t seen any salt trucks or plows at this point.— Mike Holden (@WPXIMikeHolden) January 20, 2019
***TURN on @WPXI!*** pic.twitter.com/dnxQpLP3dK
UPDATE: 4:50 a.m. 1/20 - Port Authority has suspended all rail service due to a flash freeze. Crews are working to restore service quickly.
All inbound and outbound rail cars are currently immobilized due to a flash freeze that occurred about 4am. We have crews working to restore service as quickly as possible.— Port Authority PGH (@PGHtransit) January 20, 2019
UPDATE: 4:43 a.m. 1/20 - Heavy snow is now falling across most of the Channel 11 viewing area.
A winter storm that has moved across the country and into western Pennsylvania will bringing snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain Saturday into Sunday.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Beaver, Butler, Armstrong counties and points south. Some areas of northwestern Pennsylvania and the ridges remain under a Winter Storm Warning.
Gov. Tom Wolf has declared a state of emergency because of the winter storm.
Wet and slushy roads will turn icy early Sunday as temperatures fall into the teens. A Flash Freeze will make walking and driving hazardous as arctic air crashes into the area.
For the latest storm updates, download the WPXI News App.
Flash Freeze tomorrow morning could make roadways dangerous. I will see you on Ch 11 Sunday Morning News. In the meantime, we’re dealing w/ snow in some areas, rain in others.— WPXI Traffic (@WPXITraffic) January 19, 2019
WINTER STORM WARNING: Snow falling in some areas as complicated system arrives https://t.co/I8LjSbjNzu pic.twitter.com/QneYiUeNHT
Storm ends as snow
Snow will cover the ice in many areas making conditions even worse. The highest snow totals are forecast north of the city of Pittsburgh.
The dramatic drop in temperatures and snow come as the storm moves east and arctic air crashes into the area.
Melting the ice
Crews may struggle to clear roads and parking lots, because rain in many areas prevents pre-treating surfaces. And, you'll want to find an ice melting product that works at very cold temperatures to treat your sidewalk and steps.
Our forecast includes a drop into the single digits by Sunday night, so, anything that's not treated properly will be tough to move.
Here's a look at the effective temperature of some of the most common ice melting products.
- Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride) - 20 degrees Fahrenheit
- Calcium Chloride - negative 25 degrees Fahrenheit
- Magnesium Chloride - zero degrees Fahrenheit
Dangerous Wind Chills
Wind chills as cold as -5 F to -10 F will move in Sunday as winds gust as high as 25 mph to 30 mph.
This Wind Chill Chart from the National Weather Service gives you an idea of how strong winds and freezing temperatures can affect your body.
Below zero wind chills will stick around early Monday and Tuesday mornings as well.
Stay with Severe Weather Team 11 as we continue to track this system.
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