On Thursday, Jan. 2, AccuWeather.com reported two storms will merge quickly enough to produce a major snowstorm throught the mid-Atlantic to southern New England Thursday into Friday, Jan. 3.
The storm was projected to affect more than 70 million people in the Midwest and the Northeast which was expected to, and did, have “a major negative impact on travel for people returning from holiday destinations, heading back to school or resuming business activities,” said Alex Sosnowsk of AccuWeather.com.
With possible winter storms forecast in the future, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Barry J. Schoch recently explained that while crews will work around the clock as needed, roads will not necessarily be free of ice and snow while precipitation is falling.
“PennDOT follows weather forecasts just like our customers do, but the bottom line is that weather is unpredictable and we need to be prepared for quick changes in weather and road conditions,” Schoch said. “If significant precipitation is forecast, people shouldn’t travel unless they must. This ensures that everyone stays safe and crews can focus on treating the roads.”
According to a recent release from PennDot, the frequency of the roadways being plowed or treated with salt and other material depends on a road’s traffic volume. On interstates and expressways, PennDOT aims for its plow trucks to pass by the same point on a plow route every two hours. For other major roadways the department’s goal is for trucks to pass by the same point every two or three hours. On lower-volume roadways the department’s goal extends to every three to four hours, with less frequent cycles on roads with the lowest traffic volumes.
According to the Montgomery County Health Department, on Jan. 6 the Montgomery County Commissioners, on the advice of the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety, have declared an extension of the Code Blue Cold Weather Emergency for Montgomery County based on a review of forecasts from the National Weather Service.
The Code Blue Declaration extension has been issued for Montgomery County for the period beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 6, until 12 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10.
Montgomery County declares a Code Blue when winter conditions pose a threat of serious harm or death to those without shelter. A Code Blue is determined when the combination of air temperature and wind chill is anticipated to be 20 degrees or less.