By Steve Strouss
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Here we go again. The onslaught on wintry weather continues this season as more snow, ice and rain plague the Delaware Valley.
Numerous wires are down, hundreds of thousands of power outages have been reported, many trains are delayed or suspended and downed trees closed several roads and highways.
Traveling through the NW counties of Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley is downright dangerous. If you are traveling in the Poconos, you will have to navigate upwards of 8″ of snow. If you are traveling through Southern New Jersey or Delaware, you are dealing with pockets of heavy rain and ponding. The only good news is that temperatures are warming and frozen precipitation is quickly changing over to plain rain in most locations.
Ice accumulation is significant and some of these amounts are still growing:
Trenton NJ: .33″
Croydon PA: .25″
Norristown PA: .25″
Washington Twp. .25″
Winter Storm Warnings will expire through the morning as precipitation tapers off early this afternoon. However, a Flood Advisory has been issued for Northern Delaware and interior Southern New Jersey as heavy rain is causing poor drainage flooding and ponding. The pm commute today will not be nearly the headache as the am as roads will be mainly wet. However, there is concern for late travel tonight because cold winds wrapping behind the storm will send temperatures back down into the low 20s and that could cause black ice to form. Standing water and slush will also freeze on untreated roads overnight.
After this storm, we will enjoy a brief break on Thursday as high pressure builds in and sunshine returns, but temperatures will remain near freezing Thursday afternoon. Friday will be dry too, but all attention then shifts to the weekend as we have snow chances both Saturday and Sunday. There have been a lot of rumors about a 30″ snowstorm, but let me put those to rest. In the over one 100 years of weather history in Philadelphia, there has only been one snowstorm that produced over 30″ and that was in 1996. The chances of getting another one this weekend are slim to none. Our analysis of the weather models this morning suggest the potential for a blockbuster storm has greatly diminished, but accumulating snow is likely. Exact amounts and timing of this weekend storm are yet to be determined but Saturday looks much less threatening then Sunday. At this point we are all sick of winter’s wrath so we will certainly keep you updated on Storm #3 once we hastily say goodbye to Storm #2.