Monday was the appetizer. The main course comes later this week. Strap yourselves in for a wintry week ahead with plenty of cold and a major winter storm for much of the area later Wednesday into early Thursday morning. If you think it’s been awhile since we’ve seen significant snows, you’re right! Remember last winter was one of the least snowy on record, with little snow at all, let alone a blockbuster storm. The last time there was a widespread foot of snow in the Lehigh Valley and Berks County was way back on the first day of spring in March of 2018. But many of us may be measuring at least a foot of snow come Thursday morning.
Monday’s wintry mix, which did bring a coating to an inch or two for some, especially in the higher elevations, has moved out, and clearing and drying took place last night. Now, we’ll enjoy a cold and dry calm “in-between” events today, with a good deal of sunshine and highs in the upper 30s.
Even Wednesday will start dry, but expect a much different finish as snow develops later in the day, becomes windswept and heavy at times Wednesday night, and tapers off early Thursday morning. Double digit accumulations are likely across much of the area before the storm departs, giving way to cold but dry weather to wrap up the week and start the weekend.
TODAY AND TONIGHT
High pressure over eastern Canada will provide a partly to mostly sunny, cold, and dry day in between our appetizer and main course. Highs will be in the upper 30s, as the colder air settles in and sets the stage for our mid-week Nor’easter.
That same Canadian high will provide a continuous source of cold air during our storm, keeping most of us mainly snow. Look for clouds to gradually be on the increase tonight as lows dip down to some rather cold levels in the low 20s.
WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT
Wednesday will start dry as clouds thicken, with snow developing from southwest to northeast during the afternoon. Snow will be light at first, but will quickly become steadier and heavy at times Wednesday evening into most of Wednesday night, before tapering off early Thursday.
Expect the heaviest snow and most accumulations to fall between sunset Wednesday and sunrise Thursday, when snow can fall at the rate of several inches per hour. Winds will pick up as well, and lead to some blowing and drifting snow.
Mixing will be a factor along and especially southeast of the Interstate 95 corridor through the Delaware Valley and central and southern New Jersey, with mostly rain, wind, and tidal flooding towards the shore.
As of right now, barring any shifts in forecast storm track or strength, a widespread heavy snowfall of 12 to 18 inches is expected for much of eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey. 8-12 inches of snow is expected in southeastern Pennsylvania, more if there’s little to no mixing, less if there’s a longer changeover to rain. 4-8 inches of snow is likely near the I-95 corridor from Trenton southward, and amounts continue to drastically drop off as you continue southward through southern New Jersey. By the time you get to the Shore, we only expect a coating at best as things will be mostly rain here.
Leftover light snow or snow showers around sunrise Thursday should taper off as our coastal storm quickly departs. A brisk northerly breeze will linger as will plenty of clouds, with some breaks developing later in the day. Temperatures won’t move much, hovering in the low 30s most of the day as the cleanup and dig out begins. Add in the wind and wind chills remain below freezing throughout the day.
FRIDAY, SATURDAY, AND SUNDAY
High pressure builds in, the winds diminish, and seasonably cold air settles in through the start of the weekend. Don’t expect the snow to melt that quickly, with afternoon highs in the low to mid 30s and overnight lows deep down into the teens thanks to clear skies and a deep snow cover. On Sunday, a weak cold front will be approaching from our west increasing the clouds. We will get a touch warmer ahead of the front as highs get back into the upper 30s to near 40 degrees…more seasonable. The front may bring a rain or snow shower late in the day or at night, but at this time we don’t expect this to be a big deal.
TRACK THE WEATHER: