Weather forecasts that anticipated a foot or more of snow in the Cambria-Somerset region from today through Monday were downgraded significantly.
Forecasters said Saturday that a high pressure system promises to hold the worst of the late winter blast to areas below the Mason-Dixon line.
“We’re looking at a large area of high pressure to our north. It’s a lot stronger and has cold air with it,” John Dlugoenski, AccuWeather meteorologist, said Saturday. “The cold, dry air will make it difficult for moisture to push its way very far north.”
Snow in the Cambria-Somerset region now is expected to be around 4 to 8 inches.
Johnstown is expected to come in at the lower end of that prediction.
The Laurel Mountains and higher elevations may see snow accumulating in the range of 8 inches, he said.
“This is coming through a lot stronger and has cold air with it,” Dlugoenski said.
“Cold, dry air makes it difficult for moisture to make it very far north.”
Light snowfall in much of the region likely will begin this morning and continue intermittently throughout the day.
Snow will continue off and on through Monday morning, when the precipitation will move out and quickly be replaced by colder temperatures.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service in State College are calling for temperatures of 10 degrees or below tonight with winds kicking.
Monday will see temperatures dipping significantly lower.
As winds pick up Monday night, temperatures will continue to drop, creating a wind chill value of as low as minus 15 degrees, the weather service said.
Tuesday is expected to remain cold with some sun moving in. Temperatures will start to climb slightly on Wednesday.
On Thursday, partly sunny skies will give a sense of warmth greater than the predicted upper 20s, according to the National Weather Service.
Friday will provide the warmest temperatures of the week, when the area is expected to see highs in the upper 30s.
Dlugoenski said the greatest snow accumulation today and Monday will be in the Cumberland, Hagerstown and Frederick areas of northern Maryland.
Kathy Mellott is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/kathymellotttd.