By Konstantine Fekos
The National Weather Service in Cleveland is calling for another winter storm in the Meadville area — and throughout the region — that may affect after-Christmas travelers. It comes on the heels of a major storm that began last Thursday and dumped a foot or more of snow on much of Crawford County.
NWS forecasts predict possibly heavy snow today between noon and 1 p.m., followed by widespread blowing snow throughout the night, with high temperatures near 33 degrees and new snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches.
Thursday’s forecast consists of snow showers mainly before 11 a.m. with a high of 29 degrees and a chance of additional snow showers before midnight.
As of Tuesday evening, no reports of airline cancellations or delays were issued for western Pennsylvania airports, but most of the region was preparing for a severe storm impact.
The Crawford County Office of Emergency Services is urging local residents and businesses to prepare for harsh conditions.
This year’s winter season, which began with snowfalls around Dec. 20, has already left a string of hazards and weather-related incidents as recorded by Crawford County 911 center.
“More than 124 vehicles, trees and wires-down incidents occurred during the 48-hour period from Thursday at noon through Saturday at noon,” said 911 Supervisor Dianne Fuller.
The 911 center reportedly responded to 434 general emergencies in that time frame, including structure fires, emergency medical incidents, and law enforcement incidents during that same 48-hour period.
“Although Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and municipal road departments did all they could to clear the roadways, many accidents occurred, none of which was very severe,” said Allen Clark, Crawford County EMA director.
Crawford County residents and visitors are urged to monitor road conditions either via hotlines or online. EMA officials believe drivers should refrain from travel under hazardous conditions or, if travel is necessary, to drive slowly.
Crawford County EMA reports close contact with the NWS and with municipalities and public safety agencies to monitor weather conditions.
The NWS forecasts do not predict any reprieve from wintry conditions until Friday, with partly sunny skies, but temperatures of below-freezing: a high of 29 degrees and a low of 19.
Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.