Winter's on replay
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS The Rev. Chris Deforest spreads cinders on the sidewalk in front of his home at Third and Iron streets in Lehighton this morning before heading to St. Johns Lutheran Church in Mahoning Township to take care of the sidewalks there.
This winter has been like the movie "Groundhog Day."
It seems like every time you blink, the area is bracing for yet another blast of snow that disrupts school; creates tricky travel conditions and brings the bitter, bone-chilling arctic temperatures.
Today is no different.
Snow started falling over the region by 8:30 this morning.
Original reports were calling for a "nuisance storm," dropping only a few inches as it passes through, but the National Weather Service has now issued a winter weather advisory for significant snowfall expected today and tonight "followed immediately by bitterly cold air."
The system, which will move through the area quickly, has the potential to drop 4 to 8 inches today.
Blowing and drifting snow is possible this evening, the National Weather Service reports, as the storm pulls away and the arctic air sets up over the Northeast. Temperatures will plummet to near zero with wind chills as low as 15-below. Wind gusts up to 30 mph may also occur later today and overnight.
Keeping students safe
Many schools in the TIMES NEWS coverage area have decided to err on the side of caution and called for early dismissals or closures ahead of the storm.
As of 8:30 a.m., Lehighton, Jim Thorpe, Panther Valley, Weatherly, Tamaqua and Palmerton school districts; as well as Carbon County Head Start, St. Jerome Regional in Tamaqua and SS. Peter and Paul in Lehighton called for an early dismissal.
Northwestern Lehigh and Northern Lehigh school districts; as well as St. John Neumann in Palmerton were closed today.
Crashes started early, including one on Route 54 near Nesquehoning. One person was reported trapped.
The speed limit was reduced on the turnpike and area highways.
Carbon County Planning Commission also canceled its monthly meeting, slated for this afternoon.
The week ahead
According to the National Weather Service, Wednesday will bring no reprieve as temperatures will only rise into the low teens during the day with wind chills near 20-below; and around 1 degree with wind chills around 6-below at night.
There is a 20 percent chance for snow showers on Thursday and temperatures will rise to near 18 during the day, with single digits at night.
Temperatures will rise to near 30 Saturday, with a 30 percent chance of snow showers.
Next week's temperature outlook is not looking promising right now.
The National Weather Service expects Monday's temperatures to hover just below 20 degrees.