WILKES-BARRE — A warmer and brighter Friday brought some relief from Thursday’s winter storm, but keep those snow shovels and ice scrapers handy — more snow is expected this weekend.
WNEP meteorologist Tom Clark said a storm is moving into the area from the west, which will bring light snow into the area on Saturday morning.
He did not expect the weekend’s weather event to match the severity of Thursday’s storm, predicting it could bring 2 to 4 inches of new snow.
“I really don’t think that’s going to increase,” Clark said about the prediction. “The dynamics of this storm are a lot weaker.”
This weekend’s snowfall will pile on top of an estimated 9 to 10 inches that was dumped on the Wyoming Valley on Thursday, which brought the season’s total to 47.6 inches.
“That’s normal for an entire season,” Clark said, adding that Wilkes-Barre is about 16 inches above normal for this point in the winter.
He said Sunday and Monday should be dry, but another weak storm coming in from the west could bring light snow on Tuesday.
A major shift in the jet stream will result in a broad southwesterly blow across much of the country by the end of next week. As a result, Clark said, temperatures will be above normal for the eastern two thirds of the country — with highs in the 40s or 50s possible in the Wyoming Valley.
Thursday’s winter storm was blamed for a number of injuries.
Matthew Van Stone, public relations specialist at Geisinger Health System, said the emergency room reported 10 to 15 vehicle crashes, more than dozen slips and falls and some snow blower injuries. Van Stone said some of those injuries were particularly severe and resulted in some people losing some fingers.
“It isn’t necessarily a minor injury when people get them,” said Dr. Ronald Strony, director of emergency medicine for Geisinger Northeast. “We use our hands for everything we do.”
Strony said the hospital typically sees an increase in injuries related to falls and automobile crashes. In particular, injuries from falls are the most common that he sees during winter storms.
Strony said the emergency room was not busy during the storm, but he expected it to get busy throughout Friday and into Saturday. Strong encouraged people to exercise extreme caution when traveling or working in winter weather.
He also advised people to never use their hands to clear an obstructed snow blower. Use a broom handle or a stick intead, he said.
Even after the snow had stopped overnight, many roads were still dicey during the morning commute. Some social services were delayed or closed altogether.
• Schools: Most schools in Luzerne County were closed Friday, and some operated on a two-hour delay. Luzerne County Community College, King’s College, Misericordia University, Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Penn State Hazleton and Wilkes University also closed on Friday.
• Public Transit: Buses for the Luzerne County Transportation Authority and COLTS in Lackawanna County began operating at 9 a.m. on snow routes. Flights in and out of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport were on time.
• Highways: The Pa. Turnpike Commission lifted the 45 mph speed limit and the bans on certain commercial and non-commercials trailers on all remaining sections of the Turnpike at 6 a.m. Friday. PennDOT also lifted the speed restrictions that were in place on several roadways in north central Pennsylvania and other regional interstates.
• Utilities: PPL Electric’s interactive outage map showed there were no power outages in Luzerne County. Two power outages were reported in Lackawanna County as of 10:30 a.m., but as of 1:45 p.m., no outages were reported there.