Snow: 4:30 Update

The snow break is not expected to last much longer, with Round 2 of the heavy snow due to get going about 6 p.m.

That's the latest estimate from Gary Szatkowski, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service, and he says the accumulation forecasts remain on track for tonight.

That would mean an additional 4 to 8 inches, and it's at least possible that some places will have received more this morning than at night.

But what happens tonight should trump the morning for atmospheric drama. Expect heavy snow in a compressed period falling at the rates of 1-2 inches an hour, along the potential for thunder and lightning.

By daybreak, some places are likely to be under a foot of snow. The latest weather service accumulation forecast map has the immediate Philadelphia area under about 10.

This morning, reports of 6 inches were common in Chester and Montgomery Counties from that snow ambush that caught meteorologists and road crews by surprise.

The forecasts called for minor amounts of snow during the day as a wintry mix turned to rain.

The morning shot was the advance guard of a storm over northern Alabama that wasn't supposed to hammer Philadelphia until it blew up off the coast.

But it turned out that the advance guard of the storm was juicier -- and obviously whiter -- than expected.

Expect post-mortems on this one. Said Szatkowski: "Obviously we're going to go back and look to see what happened."