By Kate Bilo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In the wake of Tuesday’s crippling ice storm, the worst winter storm in PECO’s history with well more than half a million powerless, many remain away from their homes due to lack of heat. And the chill isn’t departing the area anytime soon, with Arctic high pressure in control through the end of the week. Temperatures tonight dip into the 20’s, and barely get above freezing tomorrow – a bit of melting, perhaps, but not enough to rid the area of much snow or ice.
What looked earlier in the week to be a potential major storm for the northeast is now looking like more of a non-event. Or rather, more of a nuisance system than a major snowstorm. Often we find that the models correct themselves after a storm ends, and that’s the case this week. However, we still don’t want to underestimate the weekend.
There is a storm passing off the eastern seaboard on Saturday. This main system looks to slide off the coast and just miss us, but it’s close. Many storms this winter have corrected north in the short-range, so it bears watching. There are also two weaker disturbances rotating through this weekend. The one on Saturday afternoon probably demands the most attention as the interaction with the coastal low is very, very close. As of now, it looks like a period of light to moderate snow in the evening, accumulating an inch of two. But in a winter full of sneaky, over performing storms, if this wave draws on some moisture from the nearby coastal slider, it could produce a few areas of enhanced snowfall.
Chances for snow showers continue Sunday, with perhaps another period of light snow Sunday night into Monday as another disturbance rounds the base of the trough. Again, not much snow with this, maybe an inch or so.
As of now, timing is still up in the air. I think snow could fall at any point this weekend, but it likely won’t amount to much, maybe a general 1-3” from Saturday through early Monday. I wouldn’t be surprised if an isolated area picks up a bit more than that, but the storm definitely shouldn’t be crippling in nature. A major storm right now is the last thing we need, so this is excellent news.
But once we get through the weekend, focus will shift to next week as another storm brews in the deep south and moves up the coast late Wednesday into Thursday. This does look to have the potential for appreciable snowfall up the I-95 corridor, though there may be some mixing issues as temperatures surge with milder air on Thursday. We’ll be watching this storm closely and will provide constant updates. In the meantime, stay warm and stay safe.