The biggest snowstorm to hit the Philadelphia region this year didn’t amount to much for most of us, although snowfall totals varied even within counties.
The nor’easter that moved up the coast, part of the two-front storm to srike the Northeast, moved swiftly through in the wee hours and was largely sparing of snow. We’ll see sunny skies and warming temperatures later today.
Parts of the Lehigh Valley, expected to get the brunt of the snow in the region, didn’t get much more than five inches. The Somerton section of Philadelphia saw the largest snowfall in the city, with about 4.7 inches, according to Mitchell Gaines, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.
"We had several bands of snow setup across the region last night," Gaines said. "Some were heavy, making it quite variable. We had only an inch in some spots, and more in others."
Gaines said Slatington, in Lehigh County, recorded 5.2 inches of snow. Northern New Jersey saw heavy snow, with Chatham, Morris County, recording 14 inches.
However, most of the snow had moved out of the region before daybreak. The nor'easter that struck here collided further north with a clipper from the west and packed a lot more power in New England.
The massive storm packed hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions as it swept through the Northeast, dumping nearly 2 feet of snow on New England and knocking out power to more than a half a million customers.
More than 23 inches of snow had fallen in parts of central Connecticut by early today, and more than 21 inches covered Randolph in southeastern Massachusetts. The National Weather Service says up to 3 feet of snow is expected in Boston, threatening the city's 2003 record of 27.6 inches.
Throughout the Northeast, more than 600,000 homes and businesses lost electricity. Airlines canceled more than 5,300 flights through Saturday, and New York City's three major airports and Boston's Logan Airport closed.
The storm is being blamed on at least four deaths in New York and Canada.
And it was having a major impact on air travel, with most airports effectively shutdown in the Northeast. Philadelphia International Airport was open with planes getting in, but many flights were cancelled because of the ripple effect. A winter storm may be affecting flight operations at Philadelphia International Airport. The Airport advises travelers to call 1-800-PHL-GATE (1-800-745-4283), or check the website (www.phil.org) before making the trek to catch a flight or pickup.
Locally, snow-slicked roads did make for treacherous driving late Friday and into the early morning hours Saturday.
Overnight, several people were reportedly struck on Skippack Pike in Blue Bell, Montgomery County. And a vehicle overturned on Swamp Pike in Pottstown with three people inside who had to be rescued. And a vehicle flipped on Route 660 in Mansfield, Burlington County. None of the accidents appeared to be fatal as of early this morning.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the state Department of Transportation reported no road closures or major problems. While outages were few, utilities warn that Pennsylvania is not yet in the clear. PPL Corp. spokesman Michael Wood says "we could see some trouble" if winds pick up as expected.
The National Weather Service out of Mount Holly was calling for any remnants of snow to be gone about daybreak. It will be mostly cloudy early on, but skies should clear with sun and a high of 35. Brisk winds with gusts of up to 36 m.p.h. will make it feel much colder.
Temperatures will plunge tonight to about 16. But Sunday should be sunny with a high of 39, likely to melt any lingering snow.