Ice Storm Warning in Effect for MontCo, Southeast PA
MOUNT HOLLY NJ – An ice storm warning declared by the National Weather Service for southeastern Pennsylvania and western Montgomery County remains in effect through Tuesday (Feb. 16, 2021) at 10 a.m., according to its Mount Holly NJ regional office. Significant icing is expected, it said, with accumulations of up to three-tenths of an inch, accompanied by up to an inch of light snow and sleet.
The warning, first announced Sunday (Feb. 14) at 6 p.m., was updated Monday (Feb. 15) at 4:15 a.m. with few changes. It claimed “a wintry mix will develop Monday morning before changing to freezing rain Monday afternoon and Monday night. Freezing rain continues into Tuesday.”
Weather Service forecasters predicted “scattered power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice.” Travel “could be nearly impossible,” it added, and said “hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.” It strongly discouraged travel of any kind unless required by emergency or necessity.
Weather could remain dangerous for days
Moreover, the weather may be tenuous for the entire week, according to Courtney Travis, senior meteorologist with State College PA-based AccuWeather. “Repetitive doses of wintry weather are expected to continue for much of the week for portions of the central and eastern United States,” she wrote.
“Although only a shallow layer of cold air may be in place over a large part of the mid-Atlantic and New England regions especially near the coast,” that means that a period of sleet and freezing rain is more likely, instead of just rain or snow, according to Travis. “Even a thin glaze of ice could make untreated roads treacherous” and lead to a round of power outages.
In a case of atmospheric déjà vu, yet another storm may dip southward over the Central states with snow and ice during the middle of the upcoming week, grab Gulf of Mexico moisture and head northeastward into the latter half of the week.
AccuWeather meteorologists say this recent frosty stretch of snow, ice and frigid temperatures has been the most active winter weather pattern across the country likely since the mid-1990s.
PennDOT, PA Turnpike Enact Vehicle Restrictions
In response to winter weather and the potential for icy conditions, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the state Turnpike Commission said they plan to implement restrictions on trucks and other vehicles on specific roadways – most of them interstate highways – across the commonwealth. Restrictions begin Monday (Feb. 15) at 6 p.m. and remain in place until rescinded.
PennDOT urged drivers to avoid travel during the storm if possible. If travel is necessary, it added, “use caution, reduce speeds and be aware of changing weather conditions. Freezing temperatures are expected during this event, so motorists should be aware of blowing and drifting snow, which can cause icy areas on roadways, including overpasses and bridges.”
“With freezing temperatures, roads that only look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning,” PennDOT said.
Map graphic supplied by AccuWeather