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A wintry mix of conditions visits the area

A wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and rain was what area residents woke up to this morning, causing driving conditions to be hazardous and schools to be canceled.
A winter storm warning is in effect until 7 p.m. this evening.
Forecasters called for freezing rain and sleet through the early afternoon, then rain along with a chance of freezing rain. Added ice accumulation was expected to be around one-half of an inch.
Then tonight, there is a 50 percent chance of evening snow showers, with lows in the upper 20s.
The weekend weather is expected to improve as Saturday should be sunny and reach temperatures around 40 degrees, and Sunday should reach highs in the lower 40s.
The latest winter storm, which brought a variety of winter conditions, including significant icing for parts of the area, means that motorists should take extra care and be alert for the potential of downed tree limbs or power lines, according to a PennDOT press release.
Those experiencing a loss of power are encouraged to call their electric utility immediately and report the outage.
Also, motorists should allow extra time to reach their destinations, increase following distances between vehicles and remember that while four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles may help your vehicle’s forward progress in snow or other slippery road conditions, it does nothing to help stop the vehicle any faster on ice.
The best bet is to avoid unnecessary travel when heavy ice is forecast, but if you must travel, PennDOT encourages motorist to pack an emergency travel kit and to monitor weather forecasts. Some of the basic items that should be included in an emergency travel kit include: first aid supplies, non-perishable food, water, warm clothes, a blanket and a small snow shovel.
PennDOT reminds motorists that its new travel information page, which is available at www.dot.state.pa.us by clicking on traveler information, offers a variety of useful tools, including current weather-related travel conditions and closures on Pennsylvania interstates. The site also provides links to PennDOT traffic cameras, roadway weather information systems and real-time weather conditions.
Motorists are also reminded that interstate road conditions are available by calling PennDOT’s Interstate Road Condition Hotline at 1-888-783-6783. Information on the hotline is updated every 15 minutes.