By Matt Peterson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We are now really getting into the thick of the system that will last throughout the rest of the morning and snow is going to pick up throughout the afternoon before this system will slowly exit the region overnight tonight and then completely exit the region by Thursday morning at the latest.

Over the last hour or so in the Philadelphia metro area we have seen the change over from rain to snow and  around 10AM the official change from the rain/sleet/freezing rain mixture to all snow took place. now that the change has occurred we can expect the snow to persist and become steadier as well as heavier through the whole afternoon.

The time of peak snowfall today has been foretasted to be in the 1-5PM time frame and that timing as of right now has not changed. During the time of peak snowfall we should watch for the potential of snowfall rates 1-3″ per hour and that is what will cause us to still potentially it those high snowfall totals that could be near a foot or potentially more than 12″ in a few localized areas.

The biggest threats from this storm will be the heavy, wet snow, followed by some gusty winds which could cause power lines or tree limbs to come down, causing power outages once again. There is a Winter Storm Warning in effect for the entire area through most of the night tonight.

We do not want to forget the coastline with this system either. There is a Coastal Flood Warning in effect until 5AM on Thursday and we could see minor to moderate flooding along the coastline during the high tide periods on Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night.

Also, expect waves to be in the 10-16ft range, meaning moderate beach erosion will be likely throughout the duration of this event.

The CBS3 Eyewitness Weather Team will have live updates every hour on CBS3 and on all day long.