Midnight Clear declared

University Park, Pa. — The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow and mixed precipitation for numerous Pennsylvania counties, including Centre County. The advisory is in effect from 6 p.m. today (Jan. 27) until 8 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 28). The latest forecast indicates snow should start around 7 this evening, and last till mid-morning tomorrow. Accumulations of 4 to 6 of snow could be on the ground by the earlier part of the morning, with a changeover to some wintery mix that could cause some conditions of icing. After midmorning, there should be scattered flurries or sleet off an on through the day.

According to University Park Snow Marshal Lloyd Rhoades, the hard part of this storm is the timing of it. "We will be forced to start clearing surfaces, only to possibly see some sleet or freezing rain cause problems after we plow," he said.

Because of this forecast, the Office of the Physical Plant has declared a Midnight Clear for tonight. This means that there is no parking in any surface parking from midnight to 7 a.m., with some exceptions.

Rhoades outlined the following OPP plan:

Will apply salt to campus roads, area near Bryce Jordan Center, driving paths to faculty and staff parking lots and 24-hour operations prior to 7 p.m. tonight. A salt truck will be on duty until about midnight to support campus roads, and the Chris Tomlin event at the Jordan Center. At midnight, the entire crew will report to start clearing campus roads and parking lots. "They will work through the night, but lots plowed in the wee hours tonight will have snow continue to fall on them prior to arrival of faculty, staff and students, so some accumulation is to be expected in many parking lots," Rhoades said.

Will apply salt to any necessary areas today, and will have a small force of equipment operators and ground support workers on campus tonight until after the event at the Jordan Center, and also when campus starts to wind down around 10 p.m. The entire landscape workforce will report at 5 a.m. tomorrow to clear all campus walks.

JANITORIAL: Will work on shift through the night and Wednesday morning to clear all building entrances.

"This will be a difficult storm to fight, with the timing of the event, then the expected icing toward the end," Rhoades said. "And as mentioned, there will likely be some snow in the lots tomorrow when people arrive, and walkways could be slippery, particularly if we get more of the wintery mix after we plow. As usual, please drive carefully -- and slower -- wear the right boots, and exercise caution out there."

For the Midnight Clear, overnight parking will be available in:

-- all parking decks-under roof areas only, between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m.;

-- lot Orange H, along the north side of Materials Research Lab;

-- areas with fenced parking compounds, such as Fleet Operations, the Office of Physical Plant back lot and Bryce Jordan Center Orange L South lot;

-- all farm areas; and

-- lot Red A, west of Atherton, between 3 and 7 a.m. only.

Departments with University vehicles need to move them into one of the parking decks between now and midnight tonight.

The East bay (the section closest to Bigler Road) on the ground floor of the East Deck has been reserved for oversized vehicles that do not fit in the other garages on campus. The ground floor of the East Deck will accommodate vehicles up to 8 feet, 2 inches in height. Vehicles that normally had to remain in one of the approved surface areas because of roof racks, truck caps etc. can now be parked in the East Deck.

Signs have been posted in the East Deck reserving the East bay (closest to East Halls) for oversized vehicles. Once the signs are posted regular vehicles (less than 7 feet max height) are prohibited from the reserved area and must park in another portion of the garage.

When parked in the garages during a Midnight Clear event, all ADA parking regulations remain in effect. Vehicles parked in handicapped-designated parking spaces must display a valid state issued HP license plate or placard.

Student storage lots such as Lot 43, Lot Blue 81, Blue 82 and Blue 83, Lot Silver 42, and Brown 11 are not affected by Midnight Clear.

Last Updated November 18, 2010