Friday, February 08, 2013

Getting Ready For Tonight's Snow

8 PM Update -- As we're working into the backlash of snows locally, snow has picked up across the western burbs and is falling between light and moderate intensity in a number of locations.  Snow is picking up into the city now and is working down across South Jersey as well.  The next few hours will be our prime opportunity to pick up snowfall, with decent rates falling so far in the western burbs.  Snow will be steady if not heavy in some spots, especially to the north of Philadelphia, over the next few hours.  These snowfalls will pale in comparison to what's falling across Long Island and Southern New England, where five inches of snow fell in an hour's time in Groton, CT, earlier tonight....but it's better than no snow at all, as is the case down to the southwest of our region towards DC and Baltimore.

The show is starting for Southern New England and the graze of a phase is on for Philly and our immediate region.  The coastal storm is nudging along at a nice clip and intensifying as it ingests from the northern wave that's coming in from the west.  It's impressive to watch these two features come together...unfortunately, they aren't coming together fast enough to bring a ton of snow to the region.  That said, it will snow this evening and into tonight as that energy to our west moves across the region over the next several hours.

Because the southern part of this storm was a moving a bit quicker than earlier modeling hoped, the prospect for warning criteria snow in Chester, Berks, and Montgomery does not appear likely.  The NWS has downgraded the earlier warnings to Winter Weather Advisories, with winter storm warnings still out for tonight for the Lehigh Valley, Bucks, Trenton and points north.

One of the more accurate higher resolution models in the short term, the HRRR, is showing a decent snowfall for areas north and northeast of the city.  This model predicts the potential for four to eight inches of snow across Bucks County, 2-4 across most of Montgomery and across the city into the Route 38/Route 70 corridors in suburban South Jersey.  Decent, just not as much as earlier hoped and hyped as the soggier part of this storm moved along a tad bit quicker and the result is a bit less snow for us.

It doesn't ruin the prospect for snows, period.  Just not as much in the offing for tonight.

We've tweaked our forecasts for snow down to 2-5" for the city, 5-8" for Bucks...with the eight more likely around Trenton than down towards the Bucks/Montgomery border.  6-12" still likely above Trenton and Belmar in Central and North Jersey, with more snow likely across Northeast New Jersey and into New York State and New England.  South and west of the city is in line for one to three, with coatings possible below Dover in Delaware.

Snows should take over locally after 7 PM, continuing through Midnight and then tapering off after 2 or 3 AM. The best chance for those one inch per hour accumulation rates will be above Trenton in New Jersey although one half inch per hour rates are possible into the city.