Old Man Winter's opening salvo for 2014 begins tonight with what meteorologists predict could be the start of a plowable snowstorm followed by the arrival of an Arctic air blast that may shatter the record low temperatures before moving away Sunday as temperatures climb back to the mid-30s.
"It's colder than we've seen in the last couple of years, but not unusual to get brief spell of colder temperatures," said Elyse Colbert, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College Tuesday as the tracked the storm's arrival.
Accuweather forecasters predicted the region could see 6 to 12 inches before the snow tapers off Friday morning.
But Colbert said Williamsport and the region north, including Tioga, Sullivan and Bradford counties, should see only a light coating aof snow today with a low of about 16 degrees overnight.
She said winds should be calm as the snow continues through Thursday with a high temperature of 24.
Thursday night's low is expected to drop to about 3 degrees.
"We could see recordlows," Colbert said.
The record for Friday was 3 degrees set in 1918.
Colbert anticipated about 6 degrees at the Williamsport Regional Airport at 7 a.m. Friday and perhaps colder conditions in areas north of the city.
"Friday's high temperature doesn't make it out of the mid-teens," she said.
For communities in Sullivan, Tioga and Bradford counties, the high temperature may be about 10 degrees.
On Friday night the temperature could be as low as minus 1.
The record for Saturday morning of minus 5 set in 1904, she said.
"It will be close that morning," she said of the bone-chilling record-low potential.
Once the snow tapers off, Saturday appears to be looking dry and sunny, with a high near 22 and a low of 14. Sunday gets warmer, with a high near 31 and a chance of light rain.
Monday's forecast indicates a 30 percent chance of rain, with a high near 30.