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National Weather Service tracking storm despite government shut down

January 17, 2019 News Extra

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The regional National Weather Service office in Moon Township is working through the partial government shutdown to track a winter storm that is predicted to dump a foot of snow on Butler County over the weekend.

One storm system was expected bring one to two inches Thursday night, but a second system arriving late Friday night or early Saturday is expected to cover the county in 12 to 14 inches of snow before it ends early Monday morning.

“It will be a minimal snow event in Butler (Thursday night). We have one to two inches,” said Shannon Hefferan, a meteorologist with the NWS in Moon.

The second system is packing more punch.

“For Butler area, we have about a foot, 12 to 14 inches in your area and north,” Hefferan said.

Forecast models show a possibility of a mix of snow and rain south of Butler County, but it shows all snow for Butler.

“We've been going back and forth with this model. Right now, Butler County is predicted to remain all snow,” Hefferan said.

The NWS will likely issue a winter weather watch Friday, she said. A winter weather watch means at least six inches of snow is expected in a 12-hour period or at least eight inches in a 24-hour period.

“There could be heavier periods of snow when you have an inch an hour,” Hefferan said.

The temperature will drop to 2 degrees Sunday night followed by a high of 10 on Monday and a low of 3 Monday night.

“After the storm, it's going to be really cold on Monday. The high will be about 10 degrees, Monday will be super cold. There might be a wind chill advisory — negative 10 to 15 Monday, but no snow,” she said.

This is an excerpt — read more about how the shutdown is affecting the weather service in Friday's Butler Eagle.

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