By Kate Bilo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After a morning with near-record lows and highs only in the teens (almost 30 degrees below average), we shift our attention to a storm brewing to the west that will bring another messy mixed bag of winter weather to the area late Saturday afternoon and evening.
We will drop down to a low tonight around 7 degrees, close to the record of 6. Saturday morning will be quiet, so get your errands done early – snow will arrive by mid-afternoon. It could be snowing as early as 1pm but will begin in earnest after 2 pm.
There is a good area of enhanced uplift overhead as this snow gets underway, so we will expect a good “thump” of snow – heavy snowfall rates – on the front side of this system. 2-4″ could fall quickly in the city during the afternoon hours before the snow will mix with sleet and a little rain, and then begin a gradual changeover to rain after about 7-8pm. Areas to our north and west where the snow hangs on longer will see higher amounts, on the order of 4-6″, before the mixing begins.
A Winter Storm Watch will be in effect for Philadelphia and points north and west on Saturday afternoon, while a Winter Weather Advisory will be posted for South Jersey and Delaware. If you can avoid being on the roads from roughly 2pm Saturday on through the evening, I’d recommend it. It will be a messy night and pockets of dense fog will also develop as the warm air tried to push in.
On another note, we may be on track for a top 10 coldest February in Philadelphia – we haven’t had a top ten cold February since 1979! We expect temps to stay cold through most of next week, so our one brief foray into “normal” territory Sunday shouldn’t skew the numbers too much. We will see!