Complex storm system to bring heavy wet snow to much of the area Wednesday

Most difficult travel will be afternoon-evening

TODAY: Cloudy, brisk and chilly with snow becoming steadier as the day wears on. Temperatures steady or slowly falling. High: 34

TONIGHT: Snow gradually ending; clouds breaking, blustery and cold overnight. Storm totals 4-8”, higher totals south, lower to the north. Low: 23

THURSDAY: Brisk and chilly with partial sunshine. High: 42 Low: 24


The calendar might say Spring, but mother nature certainly says otherwise as the region prepares to deal with yet another winter storm, one that is expected to deliver heavy wet snow to much of the area over the course of our Wednesday. This is a complex storm system with essentially two parts to it. We saw the initial "appetizer" round back on Tuesday which continued into Tuesday overnight. A light mix of rain, sleet, and snow was seen, mainly across southern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and northern Delaware. A slushy coating to an inch of snow and sleet fell closer to the mainline Pennsylvania Turnpike corridor, with that light mix getting up through a Reading to Trenton line. Farther north towards the Poconos and northern New Jersey, things were mostly dry.

As we work through sunrise Wednesday, a light mix of snow, sleet, and rain may linger early in a few areas mainly across the Delaware Valley and south and east; otherwise, look for many of us to see all snow. A light accumulation will be possible, ranging from a coating to an inch or perhaps two in spots. With temperatures slowly falling just below freezing in many locations, roads will certainly have the potential to become snow covered and slippery, especially untreated roads.

The "main course" is expected working through the day Wednesday as low pressure deepens and strengthens off the Mid-Atlantic coast and tracks northeastward. Look for some periods of snow to become steadier as the day wears on, especially from the late morning into the afternoon and evening, and the farther south and east you travel. The most difficult time travel will likely be this afternoon into the evening hours, when the steadier snow coupled with the lower sun angle late in the day or loss of daylight in the evening will allow for roadway accumulation, especially where some bands of heavier snow set up to the south and east.

Snow should end from west to east tonight, by early evening in far western areas to late evening in the Lehigh Valley to around midnight towards the Delaware Valley then after midnight towards parts of New Jersey. Brisk northeast winds will develop and lead to some blowing snow and poor visibility at times, especially during heavier bursts of snow. Winds may gust as high as 35 miles-per-hour for anyone, with gusts greater than 40 miles-per-hour limited to coastal areas, which will also see several rounds of moderate tidal flooding during both Wednesday high tides.

In terms of accumulations, the northern Poconos such as Luzerne and Pike counties will likely see the least amount of snow, with 2 to 4 inches of snow expected in these locations with a sharp cutoff to hardly anything just north of there. Snow amounts will increase the farther south you travel, so that the southern Poconos, Berks County, the Lehigh Valley, and most of northwestern New Jersey can expect 4 to 8 inches of snow. The jackpot in terms of snow will be the Delaware Valley, the Interstate 95 corridor, and most of central and southern New Jersey, where as much as 8 to 12 inches of snow is possible.

As in past March coastal storms earlier this month, locally heavier bands of snow will develop, which could deliver locally higher amounts in excess of a foot where these bands persist. While it is more difficult for snow to accumulate during the day in March given the marginally cold temperatures and higher sun angle, past storms have shown that if it snows heavy enough, snow can indeed stick and accumulate on paved surfaces. Expect travel to be most difficult during the PM hours of Wednesday, and especially the farther southeast you travel.

As our coastal storm departs to our northeast late Wednesday night into Thursday, high pressure will slowly settle back in from the west for the rest of the week leading to a return to fair skies. Winds will be brisk out of the northwest helping to keep high temperatures below normal...generally only low to mid 40s. Our typical highs now should be around 50 degrees.

High pressure centered well to our north is expected to keep our weather mainly dry for the upcoming weekend. With the high pressure system to the north, it will help to establish a northerly wind flow and keep high temperatures below normal both Saturday and Sunday...low 40s. A weak area of low pressure is expected to move south of the region Sunday but at this time, just an isolated rain or snow shower is possible mainly across southern areas first thing Sunday morning.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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