Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Snow: Wait until dark

With temperatures near 40 and precipitation light, snow off to slow start.

Snow: Wait until dark

Sitting in the clubhouse at 1.5 inches, the freakish snowfall on the night of Jan. 24 remains the No. 1 snowfall of the season in Philadelphia officially.

It has withstood challenge after challenge, and it has a shot to withstand this one.

The official National Weather Service forecast isn't quite as white as it was yesterday. The winter-storm warning remains posted for Chester County for up to 6 inches, but predicted amounts elswhere have been trimmed back to the 2-4 range.

In any event, it now appears unlikely that snow and-or slush is going to be an issue on major roadways during the late-day commute as any accumulating snow is likely to hold off until after dark..

What's happening, or not happening?

First off, strong winds off the ocean -- a gust of 46 m.p.h. was reported at 9 a.m. at Northeast Philadelphia -- have helped bump up temperatures.

Those onshore winds have led to coastal flood warnings at the Shore with widespread moderate flooding expected tomorrow morning.

Inland, those winds are having another impact. Ocean-water temperatures off Cape May and Atlantic City ranged from 40 to 44. At 10 a.m., the air temperature had nudged up to 41 at Philadelphia International Airport, and 40 at Pottstown.

Even as the winds swing around to the northeast, points out Tony Gigi, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, the air to our north isn't all that cold, with temperatures above freezing from here to Maine.

Secondly, the liquid amounts have come in well below those foreseen on the NAM short-range forecast model. Through 10 a.m., Philadelphia recorded 0.02 inches.

Accumulating backlash snow remains in the forecast for tonight as the powerful coastal storm pulls away and the March sun goes to bed.

While 2 to 4 inches remains the official forecast for Philadelphia, Jan. 24 still could retain its title.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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