A record has already been broken as this strong nor'easter batters the region with heavy snow, rain, sleet and gusty winds, and it's not over yet. Large parts of the area saw a lull in the precipitation, but the storm's end is looming bringing with it thunderstorms, snow and more accumulation.
Our area got a break from precipitation for a few hours, but rain, even some thunder and lightning moved into parts of the region including New Jersey and Delaware earlier this evening. Sleet fell for a short time in the Philadelphia area and around 10 p.m., snow and thundersnow took its place. Tonight's snow is expected to drop anywhere from 3 to 6 more inches with the potential for higher amounts.
"If this thing doesn't get out of here fast, we could see more snow than expected," says NBC10 First Alert Meteorologist Sheena Parveen.
Models show the heaviest snow before midnight and thundersnow will remain a strong possibility.
In anticipation of the storm's "second wind" all Philadelphia public and parochial schools have cancelled classes on Friday, which will be dry, but windy...until about midnight, that's when we're expecting more snow Friday into Saturday.
THE STORM'S EARLY IMPACT
Heavy snow, as high as 16.3 inches, piled up quickly in towns across the region with some of the highest accumulations coming in Northern Delaware and South Jersey as of Thursday morning. But that section of the region saw mixing, rain and now isn't seeing anything at all.
Areas to the north and west are finally seeing a wintry mix after dealing with heavy snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches an hour. But the snow is coming back as the storm wraps back around and hits the entire region once again this evening.
Hurricane 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.
At Philadelphia International Airport, the official reading location for Philadelphia, 9.8 inches of snow piled up by 1 p.m.. With that accumulation, the city shattered a 130-year-old record. More snowstorms have delivered 6 inches of snow or more this winter than ever before, Hurricane says. This is also the fifth snowiest winter of all time for the city.
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.
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.
WINTER STORM WARNINGS
The large storm's power prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Warning for most of the region -- with the exception of extreme South Jersey -- which will last through 6 a.m. on Friday.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter declared a state of emergency in Philadelphia that went into effect Wednesday night. He also canceled Thursday and Friday trash collection and said the city plans to collect trash as regular Monday despite the President's Day holiday.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said the state of emergency from last week's ice storm remains in effect for Pa.
Over in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie also declared a state of emergency, closing all state offices on Thursday for non-essential employees.
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell issued a limited state of emergency for the northern portions of the state.
SNOW TOTALS IN DOUBLE DIGITS
The northern and western suburbs adjacent to Philadelphia, like Montgomery, Chester, Bucks and Mercer Counties and the Lehigh Valley, were in the bull's-eye for the most heavy snow.
Parts of Chester County had more than 14 inches, while towns in Bucks and Montgomery counties also saw totals in the double digits by 1 p.m.
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 10 inches.
By 1 p.m. Wednesday, Camden had 11.5 inches of snow, Wilmington had 10 inches and the official total at Philadelphia International Airport is listed at 8.8 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 expected to be cumulative -- meaning that some of the snow that falls at the beginning of the storm may wash away. So its possible that if your neighborhood gets 12 inches of snow, you might not see the full foot piled up out of your door.
Here's a general breakdown of how the precipitation should fall across the region: