Area residents and those traveling to the Ohio Valley for Thanksgiving Day can expect very cold, wet weather, but meteorologists say it's difficult to say whether that will mean snow, rain or sleet.
"It's problematic because the (computer) models put us right on the line as far as where the rain and sleet is going to be," said Mike Fries, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Moon Township, Pa. office.
Fries said at this time it appears the Pittsburgh area will receive sleet, rain and freezing temperatures, while areas further south, such as our own, could receive several inches of snow instead beginning Tuesday.
"There is potential for more than 6 inches of snow," he said, noting the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch on Sunday.
Such advisories typically are issued about two days ahead of an anticipated storm system.
Fries said the region is expected to receive light snow, with little accumulation, tonight. The potential precipitation is tied to a storm front moving in from the north, he said.
He said the potentially heavier precipitation is expected late tomorrow morning, continuing into Wednesday afternoon or early evening.
"It's mostly moisture from the south," Fries said, referring to another storm front moving into the region from the south.
Fries said regardless of the level of precipitation, area residents and visitors can expect very cold temperatures for the holiday and Friday.
The anticipated high temperature for Tuesday is 34 degrees and is expected to fall into the 20s on Thursday, he said.
Early Black Friday shoppers should prepare for temperatures potentially as low as 10 degrees, rising into the low 30s by mid-day, Fries noted.