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Snow, followed by heavier snow, forecast for eastern Pennsylvania


PHILADELPHIA — Residents in eastern Pennsylvania are being warned to prepare for snow — followed by much, much heavier snow.

Forecasters say light snow pushing in from the west will bring 2 to 4 inches of snow to eastern Pennsylvania overnight Sunday, with a little more than that predicted for central and western parts of the commonwealth.

But a major coastal storm on Monday night into Tuesday is expected to bring 10 to 18 inches or perhaps even a little more to eastern Pennsylvania, with parts central and western escaping the brunt of that storm.

"Winter's here, It's finally arrived," said meteorologist Dean Iovino of the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey, as forecasters warned that the storm could have "a major impact on commerce and travel."

The system Monday night will carry brisk northerly winds 10 to 20 mph, with blowing or drifting of snow overnight Monday and temperatures in the 20s and 30s for the next week.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation planned to have hundreds of trucks out salting the roads before the first storm — and even more when the larger one rolls through.

PennDOT spokesman Brad Rudolph said about 350 trucks would be operating in the five-county Philadelphia area during the night, and major roads had already been pretreated with brine solution to minimize the impact of snow on the ground.

In the Lehigh Valley area to the north, a full call-out of 209 trucks beginning at midnight Sunday was planned to keep roads clear, said spokesman Ronald Young of PennDOT's District 5.

No speed restrictions had been issued for roads but that would change if conditions are worse than expected, Rudolph said.

"This first storm is pretty typical; it will be a messy morning commute but it should be passable," he said.

Officials would decide Monday what actions to take with the storm rolling in that night and could elect to order a full callout of 444 trucks during that night, Rudolph said.

People were being urged to avoid travel if possible and to watch their speed while on the roads during adverse conditions.

Philadelphia International Airport spokeswoman Diane Gerace said some airlines had announced plans to reduce operations and cancel flights beginning Monday afternoon, so people should check on flights before coming to the airport. Chemicals will be used to treat runways and taxiways before the storms, she said.

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