Mayor Michael Nutter declared a snow emergency for the City of Philadelphia Saturday morning and the amount of snowfall in the area by Saturday night proved he was wise to do so.
More than 16 inches of snow dropped onto Philadelphia by 7 p.m., reports the National Weather Service, as the snow continued to fall.
But Philly hasn't gotten the worst of it. Across the bridge in Camden County, more than 20 inches were on the ground in Hi-Nella and 16 inches in Cherry Hill. Berks and Bucks County, Pa., were reporting only seven inches, whil Delaware County got 18.5 inches by 7 p.m.
Because of the "snow emergency" was announced, cars parked on an emergency snow route will be towed, says Nutter. There were 400 trucks out salting and clearing streets, Nutter said.
"If you don't need to get out today, don't," said Nutter, although the Flyers and Sixers games were still on at the Wachovia Center.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled at Philly International.
Heavier snow is falling in Philadelphia and Delaware, Chester and Lancaster counties, as well as South Jersey and Delaware.
Already we've seen reports of 10 inches of snow across portions of Delaware and South Jersey.
A snow emergency was also declared for Upper Darby Twp.
The heaviest snow is expected between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. today, and to continue through this evening. The snow is expected to become lighter overnight and end Sunday morning, but Sunday will still be cold with highs near freezing.
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 began Saturday morning.
Here's a timeline:
|Saturday 12 a.m.||Snow starts South of Philadelphia|
|Saturday 7 a.m.||Light accumulating snowfall|
|Saturday 2 p.m.||Heavier snow, especially South and East|
|Saturday 10 p.m.||Heavy snowfall peaks|
|Sunday 6 a.m.||Snow ends across the area|
Heavy snow accumulations for Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware are in the forecast.
Coastal areas and Northern and Western areas such as Allentown, Reading and Lancaster have a medium chance of seeing major totals.
Here are some snow total predictions:
|Parts of South Jersey and Southern & Central Delaware||10-20 inches|
|Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., and Trenton, N.J.||6-plus inches|
|Lehigh, Berks and Lancaster counties||3-6 inches|
There is still a possibility that the totals could continue to climb as the storm moves closer to the area, chief meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz said.