Winter weather has returned a week after near-record temperatures as a snow and ice storm set to pass through the county today has postponed multiple of events.
David Martin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College, on Friday said snow was expected to begin about sunrise Saturday morning.
“The snow will start around sunrise. There will be a coating real quick,” he said.
Martin said the National Weather Service’s forecast shows the snow turning to sleet and freezing rain by the later morning hours as warm air from the south moves northward. The service issued a winter weather advisory from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Bedford County is expected to get between 1 to 2 inches of snow with about a tenth-inch of ice. Martin noted the northern parts of the county could get between 2 and 3 inches of snow.
“If it holds off getting sleet, those numbers could be higher,” he said about snow totals.
“But I think the sleet will work in there pretty fast.”
The storm is expected to pass through the county relatively quickly, Martin said.
“It’s a fast moving storm. It will taper off late afternoon,” he said.
The wintry weather comes after the county had temperatures near the 60s this past weekend.
The forecast caused multiple events scheduled for Saturday to be postponed in advance, including Downtown Bedford Inc.’s “Feel the Heat Chili and Soup Cookoff.”
Stacey Gould, manager of DBI, said weather is one of the biggest problems with planning outdoor events.
“The biggest challenge is not knowing the forecast,” she said. “A lot of our vendors come from outside the area. A lot of the people who attend are from outside the area, too.”
The chili cookoff was rescheduled from today until Feb. 22.
Planning for the events begins months in advance, but the decision to postpone an event can’t be made until there is a clear forecast.
Gould said they try to wait until about four days before an event to make a decision about postponing, but said the vendors had concerns about the storm as soon as it showed up in forecasts.
“We were getting calls from vendors asking us to make a decision,” she said. “We can’t wait until the last minute to postpone.”
Rescheduling events can be a bit of a headache as Gould said there are a number of factors that need to be sorted out.
“The biggest struggle is getting back to vendors and making sure they can attend the new date scheduled,” she said. “Or to see if people who had already bought tickets can still attend.”
The Bedford County Historical Society had to postpone its quarterly meeting scheduled for Saturday due to the storm. The meeting was set to feature Jared Frederick, who was going to speak about the Normandy Invasion of World War II while the Sen. John Heinz World War II exhibit was still on display there.
Gillian Leach said the meeting and lecture have been rescheduled for Feb. 8, after the exhibit is set to be taken down.
“It’s disappointing,” Leach said. “I thought it would be perfect for people to come and see the display. It’s January, what can you expect?”
The Sen. John Heinz World War II exhibit is scheduled to be taken down later this month. Leach said the historical society will keep a lot of local World War II memorabilia and exhibits will remain on display until after the Feb. 8 meeting.
The Everett Area Fund also had to postpone its trivia night fundraising event scheduled for Saturday due to the storm.
Gould said winter weather can be even more difficult to plan for than rainy summer storms.
“If it is raining, we can sometimes move indoors and still be able to have it,” she said.
But the potential for icy conditions can make it difficult to “push through” a winter storm.
Martin said the winter storm will pass by the end of the day Saturday. Sunday will be cold and windy. He said temperatures are expected to rise back into the 40s by the later part of the week.
Longer term, Martin said current forecasts show February having “normal to above normal” temperatures in Bedford County.
“It could be similar to what we’ve had, but probably not quite as warm,” he said.