Snow: Winter Storm Warning

Just as the last of the homely, blackened piles of snow were oozing away, a fresh batch of snow is on the way.

A significant snow tonight is all but a certainty, and the National Weather Service has hoisted a winter-storm warning for Philadelphia and Delaware County and South Jersey.

The forecast is basically the same for the Pennsylvania suburban counties -- 2 to 4 inches of snow - but the "warning" criteria out that way is a little stiffer. The Accu-Weather forecast is similar.

Temperatures have been dropping this afternoon, and it now appears that if it doesn't start as snow, the precipitation is going to go over to all snow quickly, and continue through the night.

The fact that it will all fall after dark as temperatures drop below freezing is not good news for the pot-holed roads.

We are getting to that time of year when the sun is a big help in melting snow off roads during the day, even when it's behind the clouds. The moon, on the other hand, is no help whatsoever.

Expect snow-and-ice on the roadways for the morning commute, and perhaps yet another round of late openings for the schools.

"Morning rush hour is going to be all messed up," said Henry Margusity, a meteorologist with Accu-Weather Inc.

It may struggle to hit freezing tomorrow after the snow stops, but the sun returns to form an alliance with the road salt to assist in the melting.

A storm later in the week has a rainy look since the models now show Philadelphia on its warm side. A storm for the weekend right now is a toss-up, said Margusity.

Margusity, taking issue with the Groundhog, thinks the next three weeks will be quite active and stormy. It is quite warm in the Carolinas, with temperatures 15 to 20 derees above normal this afternoon.

Meanwhile, plenty of cold air resides to the north, ready for mischief.

If the forecast were to verify on the higher end, this could become the 10th snowiest winter in Philadelphia history.

Through yesterday, Philadelphia officially had received 38.0 inches of snow. No. 10 on the all-time list is 1957-58, at 41.8.