Saturday, February 6, 2016

Snow, Noon update: Totals tweaked, timetable pushed back

Generally, 6 to 12 now expected, most of it after dark.

Snow, Noon update: Totals tweaked, timetable pushed back

With salt in their beds, plow trucks sat this afternoon along Parkside Avenue near Belmont Avenue in the Parkside section of Philadelphia, waiting for the predicted heavy snow expected to blanket the area overnight. (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photogrpaher)

This already peculiar storm still has 24 to 36 hours to go, but based on what it has seen so far, the National Weather Service is bumping down the overall forecast snow totals.

Instead of 8 to 16 across the region, it's going with 6 to 12, and the best news is that the afternoon commute shouldn't be all that bad. It looks as though the roads will stay wet, and most of the snow in the immediate Philadelphia area will hold off until well after dark. Here is the latest forecast map.

The decision to lower the projected totals was based on a number of factors, says Joe Miketta, a meteorologist in the Mount Holly office. The snow has persisted in a cone-shaped swath radiating outward from near Atlantic City to upstate New York. To the northeast, it's raining in New England.

You can get an idea of the extent of the snow in this Intellicast radar image.

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The snow has stopped in western Chester County and throughout just about all of Delaware. Meanwhile, in some of the places where it's been snowing steadily, such as Trenton, the temperatures have remained stubbornly above freezing.

That's discouraged the snow from sticking. Plus, the water content of the flakes is so high that it is inhibiting accumulations.

Miketta said that to the south and west of the city, little additional snow would fall the rest of the day. Just to the north, the total daytime totals should be in the 2- to 4-inch range.

The storm will get cranking in earnest tonight. A wind advisory for gusts up to 50 m.p.h. is in effect from 4 until 1 p.m. tomorrow.

But the strongest winds and heaviest snows may hold off until the overnight hours, said Miketta.

Keep in mind that 6 to 12 inches is still a significant amount of snow, and it may be falling heavily during the peak wind period. Some areas might even experience blizzard conditions before this all winds down sometime tomorrow.

Inquirer Weather Columnist
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About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

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