The Altoona area is bracing for the first major snow storm of the season.
However, meteorologists offer different opinions on the amount of snow expected.
"The snow will move in after daybreak in the Altoona area between 7 and 10 a.m. It will start out light and people will wonder what the big deal is. It will get heavy around mid-afternoon and snow heavy for six to eight hours. It will accumulate 6 inches in Altoona or more," said meteorologist Paul Head of the National Weather Service in State College. "It could come down at 1 to 2 inches an hour. This will be a pretty good size event."
AccuWeather doesn't expect the storm to be quite as bad.
"It should start around sunrise and continue throughout the day and taper off at night. The Altoona area should get 3 to 6 inches. Close to Interstate 80 and further north will be areas of more than six inches," said meteorologist Tom Kines. "The good news is it should be dry, fluffy snow which makes it easier for shoveling."
PennDOT is prepared for the storm, spokeswoman Tara Callahan-Henry said.
Crews were out Friday pre-treating interstate highways and Route 22.
"We have two 12-hour shifts. Our crews will be out. The pre-treatment keeps the snow from bonding with the pavement," Callahan-Henry said. "Crews will be out but we can't be everywhere at once. You will encounter some snow on the roads."
PennDOT recommends suspending unnecessary travel until after the storm has passed.
As with all storms, PennDOT will focus on clearing interstates and expressways first, which could lead to plow trucks being redirected to these routes if conditions warrant. Drivers are cautioned that redirecting equipment could lead to deeper accumulations of snow on less-traveled routes.
If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions. Drivers also need to be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment, PennDOT said in a release.
Conditions should be better on Sunday.
"By the time you get up Sunday morning it should be long gone. Sunday will not be a blustery day. Temperatures will be close to freezing. There may be some clouds and left over flurries, and the sun may even come out," Kines said.