Forecasters warn of icy conditions as winter storm sweeps across Pennsylvania

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

York County and much of the state will be under a winter weather advisory between 1 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday as a major winter storm sweeps through the region.

According to the National Weather Service, the entire region can expect a mix of snow, sleet and rain. PennDOT is also preparing for inclement weather with road restrictions. 

York County, meanwhile, announced that all government offices will open at 10 a.m. Friday.

More than 200,000 homes and businesses lost power across the U.S. on Thursday as power companies struggled to keep pace with freezing rain and snow that weighed down tree limbs and encrusted power lines, part of a multiday winter storm that dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of the Midwest and triggered weather warnings from Texas to the Northeast.

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Storm conditions caused headaches for travelers across the country as airlines canceled more than 6,000 flights scheduled for Thursday or Friday in the U.S. At Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, authorities shut down all runways Thursday morning and reported more than 1,000 canceled flights.

The highest totals of power outages blamed on icy or downed power lines were concentrated in Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and Ohio, but the path of the storm stretched further, from the central U.S. into the South and Northeast on Thursday.

Heavy snow was expected from the southern Rockies to northern New England, while forecasters said heavy ice buildup was likely from Texas to Pennsylvania.

“We have a lot of real estate covered by winter weather impacts this morning,” Andrew Orrison, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland, said early Thursday. “We do have an expansive area of heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain occurring.”

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Here's the forecast from the weather service:

Thursday evening: Rain with a low around 31 degrees. Winds of 7 to 9 mph with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Friday: Snow, freezing rain and sleet before 2 p.m., followed by snow and freezing rain between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Winds of 10 mph with gusts as high as 20 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%. New ice accumulation of less than tenth of an inch possible, and new snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Friday evening: Mostly cloudy with a low around 18 degrees. Winds of 9 mph with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 28. Northwest wind 10 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

Saturday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 14.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 35.

Sunday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 20.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.