By Joe Mandak
The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH - A cold front has moved farther south than anticipated, possibly taking with it much of the heavier snow forecast across the southern part of Pennsylvania into today, according to the National Weather Service.
Michael Kennedy, the senior meteorologist at the weather center's suburban Pittsburgh office, said the city will now probably receive about 4 inches of snow, far less than the 6 to 8 inches forecast earlier Sunday.
The weather service had been calling for 6 to 8 inches of snow across the southern quarter of the state, with lesser amounts farther north, except for higher elevations like the Laurel Mountains in western Pennsylvania and the Poconos in the east. Now most areas of the state could receive less than first predicted - perhaps a little more than half, Kennedy said.
Despite that, a winter storm warning remained in effect across the state's southern counties, where it was expected to end at 1 p.m. today in the Philadelphia area.
"The trend has been to pull the front south, everything has just gone south," Kennedy said.
Dire forecasts from a few days ago, which predicted the storm would drop up to a foot of snow on some parts of southern Pennsylvania, were based on an expected one-two punch of snow, Kennedy said.
The first band arrived in western Pennsylvania as predicted, though a bit sooner than originally thought, as snow began falling in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas about dawn Sunday. That system tapered off in the afternoon in western Pennsylvania, and was expected to bring freezing rain turning to snow farther east as night fell.
It now appears that second system will move farther south, either missing southern Pennsylvania or dropping far less snow than originally predicted, Kennedy said.