If you're planning to travel or finish up the rest of your Christmas shopping Saturday, you may want to rethink your plans.
That's because a major winter storm is set to come roaring into the area this weekend, bringing with it near blizzard conditions and heavy snow.
"We're talking about very high accumulations, especially for December," NBC Philadelphia chief meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz said.
The National Weather Service expanded a Winter Storm Watch notice from just the city and south to our entire area -- including the Lehigh Valley. The watch will begin Friday evening and last until late Saturday night.
Snow could begin to fall as early as Saturday morning and last until Sunday afternoon. Here's a timeline:
|Saturday 6 a.m.||Snow starts South|
|Saturday 9 a.m.||Snow spreads North|
|Saturday Noon||Heavier snow begins to fall|
|Saturday 6 p.m.||Heavy snowfall peaks South and East|
|Sunday 6 a.m.||Snow ends across the area|
Updated computer forecasting models increase the potential for high snow accumulations for Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware. Coastal areas and Northern and Western areas such as Allentown, Reading and Lancaster have a medium chance of seeing major totals.
Here is a preliminary prediction of snow accumulations:
|Parts of South Jersey and Southern & Central Delaware||10-20 inches|
|Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., and Trenton, N.J.||6-10 inches|
|Northern and Western Suburbs||3-6 inches|
There is still a possiblity that the totals could continue to climb as the storm moves closer to the area, Schwartz said.