Snow in Pa. hits hunting, holiday shopping seasons

Associated Press Updated: December 14, 2013 at 2:30 am • Published: December 14, 2013 0

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A third dose of snow in a week is expected to interrupt the state high school football championships, make for a chilly last day of deer hunting season and complicate holiday shopping and travel plans throughout much of Pennsylvania on Saturday.

The snowfall is expected to leave 4 to 8 inches in much of western, central and northern Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia area may only see an inch or 2 of snow, and National Weather Service meteorologist John LaCorte said the snow will be lighter and fluffier in colder areas, and heavier and wetter in southeastern Pennsylvania.

"Take it easy with the travel," LaCorte said. "With the season being what it is, people wanting to be out Christmas shopping and such, it probably won't be a good day for travel."

Hunters on the last day of deer hunting season will have to contend with more snow, even though in some areas it could help them track deer. The past week of snowfall has deposited 6 to 8 inches on the ground in the Erie area, and hunters there are shrugging off the additional snow expected Saturday.

"We get it all the time, so it's not as big of a deal for us," said Andy Buschak, a salesman at Edinboro Outdoors sporting goods store in Edinboro, about 100 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Two state high school football championship games are being moved from Saturday to Sunday because of the snow predictions. The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association said the Class AA title game between Imhotep Charter and South Fayette will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday. The class AAAA game featuring St. Joseph's Prep against Central Catholic will kick off at 6 p.m. Sunday.

The league said it was concerned for the safety of players and fans traveling to the games in Hershey. "America's Game," the annual Army-Navy football game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, will go on, and is expected to be stuffed with Cadets and Midshipmen standing, bouncing and cheering.

Travel could get complicated for those attending the annual Pennsylvania Society festivities in New York. That includes Gov. Tom Corbett, former Gov. Ed Rendell, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

Amtrak trains between Philadelphia and New York should be able to handle the snow, Amtrak spokesman Craig Shultz said. Some locomotives are outfitted with plow devices to help keep the tracks clear, and a plow train is available, as well, Schultz said.

Amtrak also has tree trimming crews on standby, and has lined up diesel-powered locomotives and backup trains and station crews, Shultz said.

The storm is expected to arrive Saturday morning, with strong winds and gusts of up to 30 mph. The early burst of wintry weather has been a boon for ski resorts such as Blue Mountain in Palmerton, which was expecting 8 inches of additional snow Saturday.

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