Half a Foot of Snow (or More) Could Hit Region During Final Part of 3-Part Storm

A snow emergency has been declared for Philadelphia as the final part of a three-part storm moves into the area. As rain continues to change to snow throughout the region, many people could wake up to see the most significant snow of the season.

"Things are going to change pretty rapidly while a lot of you are asleep... rain changing to snow," said NBC10 First Alert Weather chief meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz.

Possibly more than half a foot of snow could fall on a large part of the region.

The NBC10 Weather Team issued a First Alert and the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning for much of the region until 7 p.m. Thursday.

Rain is already starting to turn into snow in the Poconos, Lehigh Valley, Upper Montgomery and Upper Bucks counties. That changeover will be widespread overnight as colder air moves in. The snow will become widespread during the Thursday morning rush as temps drop.

The longest period of snowfall is expected for Philadelphia, the immediate suburbs, South Jersey and northern Delaware.

Estimated Changeover Timeline

  • 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. — Rain changes over to snow in Poconos, Lehigh Valley, North and West Suburbs
  • 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. — Changeover to snow in Philadelphia, northern Delaware & South Jersey
  • 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.— Changeover to snow in southern Delaware & extreme South Jersey

Expect plenty of snow during the Thursday morning rush and lasting through the morning and afternoon(outside of points to the north). The snow is expected to clear out around 5 p.m. and should be gone before the PM rush.

Estimated Thursday Snow Totals

  • Lehigh Valley/Poconos — 2 to 4 inches
  • Philadelphia/I-95 Corridor/northern Delaware/central New Jersey — 4 to 7 inches or more
  • Central Delaware/South Jersey — 6 to 9 inches
  • Extreme South Jersey/southern Delaware — 4 to 7 inches
  • Coastal Delaware — 3 to 5 inches

Some weather service models call for far less snow while others call for one foot of snow or more in Philadelphia and nearby areas caught in the bull's eye of the storm.

Mayor Michael Nutter announced a snow emergency will be declared for Philadelphia starting at 6 a.m. Thursday. All parked cars must be moved off snow emergency routes for plowing. Drivers are advised to park as far from the corner of the street as possible when relocating their cars.

More snow emergency information and a map of snow emergency routes can be found HERE.

The city's Streets Department also announced all Thursday trash collections are canceled.

Officials also announced speeds on all Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) bridges are reduced to 35 mph due to weather conditions.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency across the entire Garden State in anticipation of the snow. Some local municipalities, including Abington Township, also declared snow emergencies and the Philadelphia Zoo will be closed Thursday.

The State of New Jersey also authorized a delayed opening of 11 a.m. for all non-essential state employees Thursday. Essential employees should still report to work on their normal schedule.

The snow should move out by Thursday night then we're in for a dry and cold Friday with temperatures in the mid- to upper-20s. Things will warm up again over the weekend with highs in the 40s. We'll also spring forward Sunday at 2 a.m. for Daylight Saving Time.

The timeline and snow total estimates for Thursday’s snow are subject to change so stay with NBC10 for the latest updates.

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