Wolf Administration Provides Update on Anticipated Winter Storm

January 15, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf today reminded Pennsylvanians to monitor their local forecasts for details on a complex winter storm expected to bring a mix of snow, sleet and rain to much of the state starting Sunday.

“This storm will bring a variety of hazards to the state, meaning that conditions can change quickly,” said Gov. Wolf. “If you absolutely must travel, make sure you know what weather you might encounter all along your travel route. State agencies are on standby to support the commonwealth during this storm.”

According to the National Weather Service, most areas will see snow as the storm system enters the state Sunday afternoon. The heaviest snow will fall in the western half of the state, with snow totals decreasing to the east where more sleet and rain are expected.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will increase staffing at 3 p.m. on Sunday with support from PA Turnpike Commission, PennDOT, PA State Police and PA National Guard. PEMA personnel will work with county emergency management partners to monitor the storm and any unmet needs and provide state resources as needed.

“PennDOT crews work before and throughout the storm to keep roads safe and passable, but they will not be completely free of snow while precipitation is falling,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Please, avoid unnecessary travel and if you must travel, reduce speeds and be aware of changing weather conditions.”

Ahead of the storm, PennDOT and the PA Turnpike Commission anticipate implementing various speed and vehicle restrictions, beginning tomorrow. PennDOT will pre-treat roadways where necessary ahead of the storm to help prevent ice from forming a bond with the pavement during the early stages of a storm. However, salt is not a silver bullet, and drivers may encounter icy spots on the roadway. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning.

With a predicted rate of snowfall in some areas exceeding 1 inch per hour, motorists should expect to encounter snow covered roadways and slippery conditions. If you must travel, do not leave home without emergency supplies and equipment such as snow brushes, sand and flashlights. Keeping fuel tanks near full is also another great way to protect yourself from prolonged stoppages that can occur in this type of storm. If you find yourself in need of assistance on the PA Turnpike dial *11 on your cell phone.

“While this December was fairly mild, January has already roared in like a lion,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “This will be the third major, statewide weather event in less than two weeks, and If this storm rolls out as currently predicted, motorists are strongly urged to wait until it has subsided to begin their travel.”

“The Pennsylvania State Police urges Pennsylvanians to only travel during the winter storm if absolutely necessary. If you must travel, be sure to carry appropriate supplies in the event you become disabled or stopped in traffic for an extended period,” said Pennsylvania State Police Major Robert Krol, Director of the Bureau of Patrol. “Items such as water, food, necessary medications, a blanket and small shovel can make the difference when needed. Troopers will be hard at work to respond to disabled vehicles, crashes, and all calls for service, regardless of weather conditions.”

To help make decisions regarding winter travel, motorists are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts.

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