First Snowfall of the Season Results in Slippery Roadways, Crashes; More Snow in Forecast

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – The region’s first real snowfall of the season on Friday morning brought some slippery conditions to area roads.

(Photo by Toni Lynn.)

The snow that began falling just before 7:00 a.m. on Friday caused a few minor accidents in the area, according to a representative of Jefferson County Emergency Management.

Jefferson County Emergency Management handled calls for four minor accidents, all before 8:30 a.m., but had no injuries reported.

Surrounding Area

Jefferson County wasn’t the only area to see a number of accidents this morning. According to a representative of Clarion County 9-1-1, five minor accidents were reported in the Clarion County between 7:22 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., with one requiring transport for an individual with injuries of unknown severity.

Accident on State Route 36. Photo by Tyler Ochs.

The calls included one call for one vehicle accident on U.S. 322 near the Jefferson County line, which did not result in any injuries. No further details are currently available.

Snow in Our Region

According to the National Weather Service Pittsburgh, the earliest reported snowfall in the region occurred on September 23, 1989, when traces of snow were recorded across the region, while the earliest accumulation on record in the region occurred on October 18, 1972, when 1.8 inches was recorded.

Early to mid-November seems to be the most common time for the first snow to make its appearance in our region, with an average snowfall of about two inches during the month. Though the average snowfall is low, storms have been known to drop larger accumulations on occasion, with the largest daily snowfall on record in the region for the month of November recorded on November 24, 1950, at fourteen inches in one day.

While heavy accumulations have been known to occur this month, there have also been nineteen times on record (since 1884), that there have only been traces of snow recorded, with no measurable accumulation, during the month of November in the region. Most recently, there was no accumulation beyond traces of snow recorded in November of 2011.

Looking Ahead

Records show that the frequency and overall accumulation of snow begins to pick up more in our region in December, with an average snowfall of about eight inches. Though snow is more common in December, that still doesn’t guarantee a “white Christmas”, defined by an inch or more of snow, which actually only occurs about ten percent of the time. Traces of snow on Christmas day are more common, but still only occur at a rate of about 38 percent.

The last white Christmas on record in the region occurred in 2002 when the region saw about 1.8 inches of snow on Christmas Day.

Area Forecast

According to Shannon Hefferan of the National Weather Service Pittsburgh, the cold front set to push through on Saturday will probably bring some snow to the north, through our area will see mainly mostly cold temperatures and frigid wind chills.

“Any snow will probably be focused to the north, closer to Lake Erie, where there may be an inch or two of snow Saturday morning,” Hefferan said.

Moving into Sunday, high-pressure building to the southwest will keep conditions drier in the area, while the temperatures will linger in the upper 30s during the day and fall back into the 20s overnight.

Hefferan noted that another low-pressure system that will be rolling into the area early next week could bring our first real accumulation of snow in the area.

“That could give us some accumulation on Tuesday. We’re watching it very closely, looking at newer models as they come in.”

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