Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bolaris: Philly dodging a snow bullet?

A pedestrian walks with his shovels in the snow along the 1100 block of Pine Street in Center City Philadelphia on Feb. 13, 2014. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
A pedestrian walks with his shovels in the snow along the 1100 block of Pine Street in Center City Philadelphia on Feb. 13, 2014. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
A pedestrian walks with his shovels in the snow along the 1100 block of Pine Street in Center City Philadelphia on Feb. 13, 2014. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer) Gallery: Cold, hard facts: Philly's wild winter records

As a winter storm approaches the Philadelphia region, computer models have shifted the highest snow amounts east of the I-95 corridor. Right now, it looks like the city of Philadelphia will escape the heaviest snow. Parts of Southern New Jersey and Delaware will not. The snow bulls-eye will be central and southern Delaware and across southeast New Jersey, where Cape May County will take the brunt.

The set-up

A polar front is moving through central Pennsylvania. Behind the front, heavy snow is falling across southern Ohio and stretching into southwestern Pennsylvania as temperatures nosedive into the teens. Ahead of the front, milder temperatures have moved in meaning any precipitation that starts here will fall as rain through the 9 p.m. hour tonight.

The northwest suburbs - across western Montgomery, Chester and upper Bucks counties and into the Lehigh Valley - will see a mix to snow with 2-3 inches of snow by late tonight.

More coverage
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  • John Bolaris' winter weather outlook: wicked
  • The first wave of energy will move through tonight and as it does, any rain will be changing over to sleet, freezing rain and then to snow between 10 p.m.-1 a.m. This will produce icy roadways throughout the Delaware County by late tonight and during the overnight period. We could pick up a couple of inches of snow overnight if the changeover happens quickly enough.

    A second energy bundle - and the more potent one - with a lot of Pacific and Gulf of Mexico moisture will surge northeastward across Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland by early Monday morning.

    Along this heavy band, 8-12 inches of snow will fall.

    The polar vortex, which will rotate around unleashing super cold air over us, will actually help to suppress the second storm system on a more easterly course

    This should steer the heavy snow band south and east of Philadelphia across southeastern New Jersey and central and southern Delaware. This will be the axis of the 8-12 inch snow amounts.

    Timing

    4-9 p.m.: Rain moves in mixed with snow and sleet and some freezing rain northwest of city, as well as western Chester, northwest Montgomery and Upper Bucks counties.

    After 9 p.m.: Rain or mix changes over to a period of freezing rain not extensive) then all snow after midnight.

    Monday morning rush: Hazardous travel as many roads will be snow-covered and icy. A few inches of snow will be on the ground, especially across central and southern Delaware.

    Moderate snow will be falling across the city, with moderate to heavy snow increasing as you head south and east from the Delaware River.

    A sharp-cut-off in snow amounts and intensity across northwest Chester, western Montgomery and Upper Bucks counties and into the Lehigh Valley.

    Heavy snow banding will take place through mid-day across southeast Atlantic County and Cape May County in New Jersey.

    Heavy snow at the same time will be falling across central and southern Delaware from Dover points south.

    After 10-11 a.m. Monday morning: Any steady accumulating snow will taper off in Philadelphia and all points north and west.

    11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Light snow to flurries.

    3 p.m.: Dry, but extremely cold temperatures will hold in the teens.

    Snow totals (by 3 p.m. Monday)

    SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA

    Northeast Philly: 3-6 inches

    Center City: 4-6 inches

    South Philly: 5-7 inches

    Delaware County: 4-8 inches

    Southeast Chester County: 5-8 inches

    Western Chester: 4-6 inches

    Western Montgomery: 4-6 inches

    Upper Bucks: 4-6 inches

    Lower Bucks: 5-7 inches

    Lehigh Valley: 3-6 inches

    Berks County: 3-6 inches

    NEW JERSEY

    Western Camden: 4-8 inches

    East Camden: 6-8 inches

    Salem: 6-9 inch inches

    Mercer County and North Burlington: 3-6 inches

    Cumberland County: 6-10 inches

    Gloucester County: 6-10 inches

    Cape May County 8-12 inches, with a few spots exceeding 12 inches

    Eastern Atlantic County: 8-12 inches

    Western Atlantic County: 6-10 inches

    Atlantic City: 4-6 inches

    Ocean County Southern: 6-10 inches

    Ocean County Northern: 4-8 inches

    DELAWARE

    New Castle: 6-8 inches

    Kent and Sussex: 8-12 inches plus

    Poconos: 2-4 inches ... go figure.

    John Bolaris

    John Bolaris For Philly.com
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