TONIGHT: A mix of snow, sleet, and rain early changing to all snow overnight; a general coating to 1-2” of wet snow by sunrise. Low: 29
WEDNESDAY: Brisk and cold with snow of varying rates. High: 33
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Snow ending early then clouds breaking; cold. Storm totals 4-8", higher totals south, lower to the north. Low: 23
Spring has officially sprung, according to the calendar as of 12:15 p.m. today. But it won't feel or look like spring anytime soon, especially over the next 36 hours as the fourth winter storm so far this March brings snow, wind, and cold to the entire area through Wednesday night. While everyone looks to get some snow, it will not snow everywhere equally, with areas farther south and east towards the Interstate 95 corridor and into central and southern New Jersey likely seeing the most snow, with a sharper cutoff to lower totals the farther north you travel. Unseasonably cold temperatures and brisk winds that will add an additional chill will add to the misery for those hoping that the start of spring would be the start of some warmer weather. The sunshine does return later this week, but temperatures look to remain cooler than average right through the weekend.
The precursor to the main event arrived today, but mostly across southern Pennsylvania into the southern half of New Jersey with a mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain. 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, it was a mostly dry day.
As the main storm organizes off the Mid-Atlantic coast overnight into Wednesday, expect any light mix of rain, sleet, and snow to transition over to all snow from north to south overnight, but precipitation should remain fairly light through sunrise. Some light accumulations are possible tonight, but mostly ranging from a coating to an inch or perhaps two in spots, with most of the accumulations occurring Wednesday. It will be brisk overnight with lows dropping to around 30 degrees, which means untreated surfaces could become a bit slippery.
Look for some periods of snow to become steadier on Wednesday, especially in the afternoon and evening and especially the farther south and east you travel. The slickest travel will likely be later in the day 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 some roadway accumulation, especially where some bands of heavier snow set up points south and east. Snow should end from west to east Wednesday night, 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 30 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, north and west of the Interstate 81 corridor, and the Scranton area will likely see the least amount of snow, with 2 to 4 inches of snow possible in these locations. Head far enough north and it may just be a coating to an inch or two at most. Snow amounts will increase the farther southeast you travel, so that Berks County, the Lehigh Valley, and most of northwestern New Jersey will likely see 4 to 8 inches of snow. There could be a sharp northern cutoff to the snow, so amounts could sharply decrease from south to north across this area. 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. Winter storm warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service for most of the area in anticipation of the heavy snow, with winter weather advisories for northeastern Pennsylvania in Pike and Northampton County. 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.
The rest of the week will feature brisk winds but brighter skies with partly to mostly sunny skies expected from Thursday through the weekend. There will be a disturbance passing to our south later in the weekend, but as long as it stays to our south, we’ll remain dry. That's the trend for now, but we'll watch it just in case. However, we’ll remain on the cool side of things for early spring. Our average high should be topping 50 degrees this time of year, and we’ll be mired in the 40s through Sunday. But at least that’s better than the mid 30s with snow that we’ll have to muddle through the next few days.
No matter how wintry the weather, welcome to spring nevertheless. We have 92 more days of spring to get warmer and sunnier weather here, and Mother Nature should eventually deliver, albeit more slowly than we’d like.
|Record||93°F April 26, 1915||30°F April 26, 2001|