Storm: Evening update

What potentially could be the most-disruptive storm of the season for some parts of the region is about to get under way.

Snow should spread across the region in the next few hours and continue until after daybreak, but the truly nasty stuff -- dangerously accumlating ice -- is due tomorrow night into Wednesday.

"It's definitely an important storm," said Walt Drag, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly. "People need to pay attention."

Snow accumulations are not expected to exceed a few inches, with less south and east of the city, but it may be enough to mess with the morning commute. After a lull during the day, things get decidely worse.

Critical details remain elusive, but a storm is forecast to come close enough to Philadelphia to draw in warm air and change the freezing rain to liquid sometime Wednesday.   

Depending on when the changeover occurs, anywhere from 0.25 to 0.5 inches of ice could build up in the immediate Philadelphia area.

Drag said he would be surprised to see 0.75 inches of ice not far west of Philadelphia. That would be a disaster.

Drag mentioned during the weekend that he was nervous about all the cold air to the north. He still is. He is also worried about the cold air in place around here right now.

He thinks it may be harder to rout than the computer models believe. He said that highs on Wednesday in the Philadelphia area could be anywhere from 33 to 50.

His hunch is the low side. Said Drag, "We have cold air that we have to get rid of.

"It's a mess. It's a mess."