[PHI] NBC10 First Alert Severe Weather Central

PHI

Nor'easter Moves Out, Leaves Mess

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz discusses the snow coming this weekend and the seven-day forecast.

    A major nor'easter left our region early Friday after dumping two rounds of snow, heavy rain and wintry mix, but high snow drifts and icy roads were left in the storm's wake.

    There was plenty of slush on the ground which made the morning commute tricky for drivers. There were several accidents along the Pennsylvania Turnpike that shut down the roadway.

    Caution has been urged when hitting the roads as well as walking down sidewalks. Wind gusts up to 30 mph also adding to the post-storm weather issues.

    The nor'easter that battered the area for more than 24 hours came in two parts -- furiously hitting areas with precipitation early Wednesday, then taking a break before wrapping around a slapping areas once again late Thursday.

    From that second act, rain and even some thunder and lightning filled the skies over some neighborhoods. Sleet fell for a short time in the Philadelphia-area, and around 10 p.m., snow took its place.

    The second round dropped another 2 to 4 inches into the overnight hours prompting officials in Philadelphia to shut down city offices and close public and Catholic schools for a second day.

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced that the city would lift its snow emergency at 2p.m.

    As Friday progresses, temperatures should stay above freezing, hitting close to 40 degrees by noon, and some of the snow will start to melt.

    "There will be melting today and a lot of sunshine," said NBC10 First Alert Meteorologist Bill Henley. "It may be near 40 degrees this afternoon. That'll take care of a lot of the snow but not all of it."

    SNOW TOTALS IN DOUBLE DIGITS

    Heavy snow, as high as 16.3 inches, piled up quickly in towns across the region hitting Northern Delaware and South Jersey first. Those bands then moved north and west blanketing Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley in snow.

    Parts of Chester County had more than 18 inches, while towns in Bucks and Montgomery counties also saw totals in the double digits by 1 p.m. Some of the more northern areas saw heavy snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches an hour.

    Before the snow changed over to sleet and later rain, Philadelphia, South Jersey and northern Delaware also saw totals ranging from just a few inches to more than 11 inches.

    Camden, N.J. and Wilmington, Del. -- separated by 30 miles -- had 11.5 inches of snow, while the official total at Philadelphia International Airport is listed at 11.1 inches.

    Inland and coastal Jersey Shore and southern Delaware had less accumulation, but with more rain expected flooding may be the bigger concern in these areas.

    With mixing and rain falling, the snow accumulations are cumulative -- meaning that some of the snow that fell at the beginning of the storm may wash away. So its possible that if your neighborhood got a total of 12 inches of snow, you may not see the full foot piled up out of your door.

    THE STORM'S EARLY IMPACT

    NBC10 Chief Meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz predicted that some parts of the area would have "6 by 6" -- meaning 6 inches of snow would be on the ground by 6 a.m. on Thursday. That prediction proved true for several areas and was even surpassed in some.

    The nor'easter set several records for the Philadelphia area. The storm marked the fourth storm this winter season in which at least six inches of snow fell. This has never happened since Philly began recording snow records in 1884.

    Philadelphia International Airport recorded 10.4 inches of snowfall, breaking the record of 10 inches that was set back in 1899. This is also the fifth snowiest winter of all time for the city with 54.1 inches. Once we add up the new totals from the second round, we could be at number three.

    The nor'easter moved in Wednesday night around 9 p.m., bringing snow into Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware before spreading to the north and west suburbs.

    Ahead of the storm more than 800 hundred schools -- including Philadelphia public and Catholic schools -- closed and local municipalities put plans in place to deal with issues. Those major Philadelphia districts remained closed for a second day on Friday.

    By early Thursday morning, roads were snow covered leading to speed restrictions on area bridges, hundreds of canceled or delayed flights at Philadelphia International Airport and SEPTA delays and detours. Speeds were also restricted on area highways and bridges.

    All SEPTA regional rail lines are now operating on a regular weekday schedule though passengers should expect delays on all lines.

    The nor'easter may be gone, but there's yet another storm on the horizon. A nuisance storm is set to move in on Saturday and, once again, leave more snow on the ground.

    Check back often to NBC10.com’s Severe Weather Central for the latest information.