Severe weather predicted across Pennsylvania from Oct. 28-31

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The National Weather Service (NWS) has announced the potential for severe weather across Pennsylvania from Sunday, Oct. 28 to Wednesday, Oct. 31. Forecasters predict that the remnants of Hurricane Sandy will merge with a growing trough of low pressure over the eastern United States to form a powerful coastal storm system. Across Pennsylvania, potential hazards associated with this storm include heavy rainfall, high winds and a chance for substantial snowfall in some areas of the state.

Significant weather is expected to begin in Pennsylvania on Sunday night. Statewide, the NWS predicts heavy rainfall and the potential for flooding, with the total amount of expected rainfall increasing from west to east. In eastern Pennsylvania, the storm may produce damaging winds (especially on Oct. 29 and 30) and tidal flooding along the Delaware River; central Pennsylvania may experience strong winds and a chance for snow at higher elevations; and western Pennsylvania may experience strong winds and substantial snowfall, particularly in the southwest.

Forecasters said the track of Hurricane Sandy and how it may interact with approaching frontal systems still is highly uncertain. Residents should monitor the situation to ensure they have the most up-to-date forecast for their area. The latest weather information is available at http://www.weather.gov/philadelphia (eastern Pennsylvania), http://www.weather.gov/statecollege (central Pennsylvania) and http://www.weather.gov/pittsburgh (western Pennsylvania).

For more information about emergency preparedness, including guides for developing family emergency plans and preparing for winter weather, visit Penn State Emergency Management online. For more information about hurricane preparedness, visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php.

Be ready when inclement weather strikes

For information on the delay or cancellation of classes due to inclement weather throughout the winter months, the Penn State community at the University Park campus should check WPSU-FM and Penn State's news website. In addition, weather-related advisories affecting Penn State campuses across the state will be sent directly to cell phones, email, the Penn State Facebook page and Twitter via PSUTXT.

To subscribe to PSUTXT, visit http://live.psu.edu/psutxt. Once there, faculty, staff and students should click on the link to login via WebAccess. Existing users then can link their PSUTXT accounts to their Penn State access account ID, and new users can use the form to create a new account.

Members of the community who do not have a Penn State access account can use the public form at http://live.psu.edu/psutxt to login or create a new account.

Subscribers can select multiple campuses for which they want to receive alerts, and can include both a cell phone number and an email address for notifications. Phone numbers and email addresses must be validated through the signup process for the subscription to be activated.

PSUTXT alerts for all Penn State campuses also are sent to Twitter, and can be followed at http://www.twitter.com/psutxt.

When weather causes a delay at University Park, employees who perform nonessential services are to report at the announced time. Classes and activities that begin before the announced delay time are canceled. Those classes or activities beginning at or after the announced delay time will be held as originally scheduled.

If weather causes the cancellation of classes at University Park, employees who perform essential duties are expected to report as normal. Those employees performing nonessential services should not report to work during the time of the cancellation. Employees should clarify their status as essential or non-essential with their supervisors before inclement weather strikes.

Faculty and staff should use their own best judgment when considering traveling to campus or the need to leave work early during times of inclement weather. Staff may charge their absence to vacation time when weather conditions cause a concern for personal safety. As usual, supervisors should make every effort to accommodate employees who wish to leave work early because of the weather.

Faculty and staff also should review "Handling Weather Day Absences" (Human Resources Guideline 10) on the Web at http://guru.psu.edu/policies/OHR/hrg10.html for specific information on how time missed for weather situations is handled.

Last Updated October 26, 2012