PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Unseasonably cold air is still on tap for the Delaware Valley overnight Friday through Sunday morning. Today’s storm will bring rain and a chance of May snowflakes north and west of the city.
The powerful cold front will open the door to an air mass with roots in the Arctic. This will be mainly a rain event for most of us but could end as a snow/mix or snow north and west of Philadelphia.
Rain showers will fall across the region this afternoon and continue through this evening. Cold air will be rushing in as rain moves out. During this time, we could see a snow/mix or snow for areas north and west. The best chance for snow will be in the Poconos. Models are in agreement that accumulation are low at this time. Grassy surfaces may pick up .25 inches. The latest measurable snowfall on record for Mt. Pocono is May 20 which occurred in 1976.
A brief period of snow is possible in the Lehigh Valley and it is not out of the question that rain could mix with snow in our western suburbs closer to the city Friday night.
A second shot at spring snowflakes could materialize on Saturday in the form of scattered snow squalls. Very cold air, certainly by May standards, moves in behind the front late Friday night/early Saturday morning, allowing temperatures to fall into the 30s for most across the region.
We’ll be near record territory in Philly on Saturday morning with a forecast low of 37 degrees compared with a record low of 33 degrees set in 1947.
A freeze warning will go into effect at 11 p.m. Friday until 9 a.m. Saturday. Some cities under the warning include the Lehigh Valley, Mt. Pocono, Reading and Lancaster.
Winds will kick up on the backside of the system causing wind chills to plummet into the 20s and even some wind chills in the teens in the Poconos. This intense northwesterly wind flow will help to generate lake effect snow showers and squalls over the Great Lakes, and these winds could be capable of driving scattered snow squalls far southeast into our region.
Afternoon highs on Saturday will top the upper 40s, low 50s and the cool temperature trend will continue into Mother’s Day. Afternoon temperatures are set to remain about 10-15 degrees below average through much of next week too.