By Kate Bilo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Well our first real snow of the season is underway and things are progressing nicely with the forecast!

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We are seeing the northern piece of the storm merge with a coastal low and snow will continue to intensify briefly overnight before moving out between 3 and 6 am. The good news is that the falling snow will be over with before the start of the morning commute, but the snow is sticking and much of the region will end up with 2 or even 3 inches on the ground, leading to the risk for slick spots on untreated surfaces and side streets.

Friday then clears out, but it’s cold enough that most of the snow will stick around. Saturday is when Mother Nature has another round of tricks up her sleeve.

The area that needs to be most on alert Saturday is the Jersey shore. A system will cut across the southeast on Friday night, bringing some heavy snow to portions of North Carolina and Virginia. It will then move off the coast and track northward. The kicker is – how close to the coast will the back edge of that storm get as it passes by our area? And right now, it all depends on who you ask. There are a few feasible scenarios with this one and it’s a very close call either way.

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WEATHER

One computer model in particular has been consistently trying to edge this storm further inland, even bringing the chance for some snow to Philadelphia. That said, this model tends to be the least reliable and may not be putting enough weight on the fresh, cold air that will be pushing in and trying to suppress the westerly track. But it no longer looks like this system will be a complete miss offshore either, and a trend to the west is something to watch.

If the west track verifies, we could be looking at big snows along the coast, on the order of 6″, and even the possibility of light snow in the city. If the track is just a bit further east, it’s a brush of snow and maybe 2-4″ with a sharp cutoff inland.

This storm hasn’t even formed yet and come tomorrow when we get the current system out of the way, we’ll be able to get a better read on the track of the Saturday storm. A Winter Storm Watch has already been issued for the shore points to warn of this ahead of time, and I’ll keep you posted with the latest data and my forecast thoughts.

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For now, drive carefully Friday morning and enjoy the first snow of the season!