By Steve Strouss
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The groundhog predicted just six more weeks of winter, but to many people along the East coast, it seems that this winter will never come to an end.
We’ve watched December football games played in near blizzard conditions. We’ve felt arctic’s grip in multiple Polar Vortices and we’ve dug out of nearly 26″ of snow in Philadelphia this past January, the third highest amount of snow ever in the month. Just last week, snow and ice stranded thousands of motorists in a rare winter storm that snarled southern states from Texas to North Carolina and it is sadly no surprise that we are once again dealing with another blow from Mother Nature.
A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for Philadelphia and surrounding counties until 5 p.m. this afternoon. A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for southern NJ and central DE where precipitation is falling in the form of rain. Even in these locations, temperatures are dropping and rain will eventually changeover to snow.
This storm is different from the others because the snow is very wet and heavy, which means it is good for making snowmen, but not so good for shoveling.
Allow plenty of extra time today. Visibility is poor, roads are wet, slick and snow covered, trains and planes are delayed and power outages are possible.
Total accumulations of 6-8+” are likely in our northwest suburbs, while up to 6″ will fall in Center City. Farther South and East we expect 1-3″ where the changeover will happen later in the morning. Across Sussex county DE and Cape May County in NJ, precipitation will mainly stay rain through early this afternoon.
The relentless ambush of winter storms just won’t quit. Storm number two of the week is already in the works and will approach the region late Tuesday night into Wednesday. The region will see more snow, ice and rain as this next area of low pressure strengthens and rides up the spine of Appalachians. Wednesday morning’s commute could be just as brutal so be prepared. The only good news is that temperatures Wednesday afternoon will rise into the 40s so any frozen precipitation will change over to rain as the mercury climbs. However, that creates another problem because heavy rain and snowmelt Wednesday afternoon creates flooding concerns. We will certainly keep an eye on that. An area of high pressure will move in on Thursday and will provide a brief break before storm number 3 impacts us during the weekend or early next week. It is too soon to give exact details on this storm as timing and precipitation types and amounts will change.
One thing is for sure, this winter is shaping up to be one that you will remember but wish you could forget.