Burst of snow causing slick roads Wednesday afternoon in the Lehigh Valley. Here’s what you need to know for your commute – The Morning Call
A burst of snow Wednesday afternoon is causing slick roads across the Lehigh Valley.
The storm, which began to drop snow in the Valley early in the afternoon, is expected to leave between 1 and 3 inches of snow in Allentown, with the greater amounts and potential for a glaze of ice in the higher elevations of Northampton County. The Poconos could see 3 to 6 inches.
Forecasters expect the city to get a mix of rain and snow before changing to all rain in the early evening. However, in the early afternoon, “a burst” of snow, with snowfall rates potentially exceeding 1 inch per hour, moved into the region.
[10:30 AM] Snow develops across much of eastern PA to northern NJ into early this PM. A burst of snow is expected especially from near/north of I-78, where snowfall rates of near an inch per hour will be possible. Be alert! Farther south, mainly rain expected. #pawx #njwx pic.twitter.com/8ysE1sFLul
— NWS Mount Holly (@NWS_MountHolly) January 25, 2023
Speed limits on Interstate 78 in Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties, as well as routes 309, 222 and 22 have all been lowered to 45 mph, according to a state Department of Transportation news release, noting that drivers should “avoid unnecessary travel.” Commercial vehicles are restricted to the right lane.
“Although PennDOT crews have been treating roadways, the department’s primary goal is to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow,” according to the release. “PennDOT will continue to treat roadways throughout the storm until precipitation stops and roads are clear.”
Drivers should allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks, transportation officials said, and should never attempt to pass a truck while it is plowing or spreading winter materials.
The weather service has issued a winter weather advisory from 7 am to 4 pm for Lehigh and Berks counties due to the storm. Drivers should plan on slippery road conditions during the evening commute, with forecasters urging those on the roads to slow down and use caution while traveling.
Lehigh Valley International Airport officials have urged those planning to fly out of the Valley to “stay engaged with your airline for any potential flight delays.”
The storm is expected to move out of the region overnight as a dry slot moves in, and the entire area will be dry by daybreak Thursday, forecasters said.
The seven-day forecast, according to the NWS:
Today: Rain and snow, becoming all rain after 2 pm High near 41 degrees. Breezy, with an east wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Tonight: Rain, mainly before midnight. Low around 37 degrees. Breezy, with an east wind 15 to 20 mph becoming south 10 to 15 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Thursday: Partly sunny, with a high near 42 degrees. Breezy, with a west wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 40 degrees. West wind 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 45 degrees.
Sunday: Cloudy, with a high near 48 degrees.
Monday: A chance of snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 42 degrees. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 42 degrees.
We are tracking snow-related cancellations and announcements from schools around the Lehigh Valley as the region deals with its first winter storm. Have a cancellation to report? Email us at [email protected]
Allentown School District: Wednesday will be an emergency virtual flexible instruction day for students. Offices will be open, administrators and clerical staff will report as normal. Students are required to login for attendance and teachers will communicate additional information.
Bangor Area School District: Schools are closed, but students have a flexible instructional day and must complete their work from home. School offices will open at 9 am
Bethlehem Area School District: All schools closed. Child Care Centers will open at 7:00 am at combined centers. All after school and athletic events are canceled, but offices are open.
Catasauqua Area School District: Schools are operating on a virtual snow day. Students should check with your teachers on Google Classroom or Canvas for your assignments. Parents can review the Remind message from your child’s teacher for their child’s assignments. All buildings are closed and there will be no transportation.
East Penn School District: Closed
JCC of the Lehigh Valley: Closed on Wednesday, including all programs and services.
Nazareth Area: Wednesday is designated as a non-instructional snow day. Both in-person and cyber instruction will not occur. There will be no non-public transportation and no lunches served. Offices will be closed.
Northampton Area: Wednesday is a flexible instructional day for all students. Students and staff should not report to the school building. Staff will work remotely.
Northern Lehigh School District: Wednesday is a flexible instructional day. Students should check for work posted by their teachers and for their online office hours. All district offices are closed and will operate remotely.
Northwestern Lehigh School District: Schools will operate using a flexible instruction day. Students should check with their teacher’s websites or announcements to access assignments, instructional activities and any synchronous lessons. Students are expected to participate throughout the day in synchronous lessons (if applicable) and complete assigned learning activities.
Parkland School District: A traditional, non-instructional snow day. Schools will be closed; there will be no transportation running. Office staff will work remotely.
Salisbury Township: A flexible instructional day for all students K-12. Offices will be open virtually. There will be no non-public transportation.
Southern Lehigh: All offices are closed. No after school or evening activities.
Whitehall Coplay: Schools closed.
Wilson Area: Schools closed.
Morning Call reporter Molly Bilinski can be reached at [email protected]