Bolaris: One storm down, two to go
The latest onslaught from Mother Nature dumped between 4-5 inches in the city with as much as 6-9 inches across our suburbs to the north and west. There was much less along the eastern side of the Delaware River and in Delaware - an average of 3-4 inches - and nothing along all coastal sections, except north Ocean and Monmouth counties.
We have officially broken the 40-inch mark for the season so far (measured at the airport) and stand about two inches short of entering the top 10 snowiest winters of all time. As I write this, the official measurement at Philadelphia International Airport is 3.5 inches, with a grand total for the season so far at 40.6 inches.
My wicked winter forecast posted on Philly.com in November compared this upcoming winter to the winter of 1960-61, when the snowfall measured 49.1 inches.
Unfortunately we still have plenty of time to go and by the look of things this week, as we are hanging on to the ropes, another shot Tuesday night and early Wednesday could drop us to our knees followed by a POSSIBLE knockout blow come late this weekend. Can you say 1,2,3 you're OUT?!!
The second storm this week arrives late Tuesday night, with heavy snow, ice, and heavy rains.
The greatest impact with this storm will once again be felt across our northern and western suburbs, where heavy snow/sleet and a change to freezing rain will have a major impact on travel - ground and air.
The city will also see a snowy start, then a changeover to sleet and briefly to freezing rain before changing to all heavy rain with localized flooding possible.
Southern New Jersey and Delaware should see a brief start of snow and sleet before changing to wind-swept rains and localized flooding. The shore could see some tidal flooding as well.
The timing of this storm would be after midnight Tuesday, with the brunt being felt during Wednesday's morning rush and tapering during the afternoon.
It's an extremely complex, double-barrel storm: one system loaded with Gulf of Mexico moisture will jump and re-develop along the Delaware coast. Normally when you have the primary storm inland, strong easterly winds would rapidly scour away the cold air on surface. This will not be the case with this one as the secondary jump will delay and in some places to the northwest prevent warmer marine air intruding from the east.
All this means the high impact zone of this storm will be northwest of Philly.
That northwest line setting up appears to stretch from Exton to Wayne, to Norristown and east to Levittown.
As a result, most locations northwest of Blue Route and north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike could be in line for 4-plus inches of snow, then sleet to freezing rain, with a complete changeover to plain rain in doubt.
Possible snow amounts
City: 1-3 inches, before a changeover to ice and then all rain.
Northwest suburbs: GENERALLY 4-6 inches of snow, followed by freezing rain, and eventually rain - although this is a real tough call right now.
Lehigh Valley: 6-8 inches, then freezing rain and NO changeover to rain. Biggest impact here.
Southern New Jersey: Interior, 1-2 inches, then a change to sleet and heavy rain. Little if any icing.
Jersey coast: Windswept heavy rains, with possible tidal flooding.
New Castle, Del.: Coating to an inch or two, then a changeover to heavy rain.
Central and southern Delaware: Mainly all rain, heavy at times.
STORM #3 (Potential late weekend storm)
The models are converging on a major storm system to form in the Gulf of Mexico and then move northeast, with possibilities ranging from heavy snow to heavy rains, to snow to rain and back to snow.
Honestly, there's lots to be determined at this time. Intensity, exact track and whether we get northern and southern jet stream phasing (a situation when the troughs of one or more jetstreams become aligned and their energies combine).
If we get phasing along the Mid-Atlantic coast, then we would have major problems. If phasing does not occur, then it's a less intense storm with below-major storm status.
It would be irresponsible to say at this time what the verdict will be, just stay with me and I will let you know when to panic.
We have enough to worry about for the mid-week.
My eyes are burning, my brain hurts, time to eat and keep ya posted.