Snow, yes, but ice threat eases

In its late-day briefing package, the National Weather Service says 10 to 14 inches of snow could fall in the outer reaches of Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties.

Elsewhere, 6-10 appears to be a general range in the region.

But the briefing did contain one piece of good news: The freezing-rain threat has backed off.

The snow still is expected to mix with sleet and perhaps change to rain, particularly south and east of I-95, but power companies, road crews, and anyone else who has been around here for awhile will take sleet any day over freezing rain.

That said, additional power outages remain a threat because this storm will be moisture-laden and likely will produce a heavy, wet snow that could stress tree limbs and power lines.

Yes, PECO is aware.

As is the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which is concerned about how more downed trees and limbs might affect the region’s roads.

The snow-ice attack of last week might act as a mitigating factor since it did so much pruning of the vulnerable trees, said Gene Blaum, PennDOT spokesman.

 But the counterpoint, he said, is that some limbs and branches might have been seriously weakened and are thus ready to come down.

All in all, he said, this winter qualifies as one of the most-disruptive in the modern era, and might even be No. 1 because of the sheer frequency of storms.

“The timing has been bad,” he said, “and they’ve been so close together.”