After snow, frigid air will arrive in Pittsburgh

Temperature to dip below zero this week


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A revised forecast has put Pittsburgh in the path of a storm that is expected to blanket much of the mid-Atlantic today.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory that includes Allegheny and part of Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties, with 2 to 4 inches of snow expected. The advisory runs from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

"The heavier stuff will be coming down between 9 and 11 a.m.," said John Darnley, a meteorologist with National Weather Service in Moon.

A winter storm warning was declared for the ridges of Fayette and Westmoreland, along with Somerset and Bedford counties, where 6 to 8 inches was expected. Warnings also were posted for much of West Virginia, western and central Maryland, south-central Pennsylvania and northern Virginia.

The snow will be followed closely by another blast of frigid air. Pittsburghers may take cold comfort in knowing that tonight's expected low of 1 degree below zero, as forecast by the weather service, will not come close to breaking the record for the date. That would be minus 18, set in 1985.

However, the low will be accompanied by stiff winds that will make it feel like minus 16, National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Hendricks said.

Earlier on Monday, the weather service had called for only an inch of snow today, but a low-pressure system in the Atlantic that is feeding moisture to a cold-air mass was tracking farther north than expected, prompting the winter weather advisory for Pittsburgh that was issued shortly before noon.

The storm also was expected to deliver a wallop to Washington, D.C., and large sections of Delaware, New Jersey and southeastern New York state, including Long Island, and could rival the storm from early December in parts of southeastern Pennsylvania, according to State College-based AccuWeather.

The high in Pittsburgh on Wednesday is expected to be 11 degrees, and the district's next flirtation with 20-degree weather won't come until Saturday. Normal high for this time of year is 36 degrees, and the normal low is 21.

So where's the customary January thaw?

"We had it," Mr. Hendricks said. "Hope you didn't blink."


Jon Schmitz: jschmitz@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1868 and on Twitter @pgtraffic. First Published January 20, 2014 7:57 AM

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