What to Know
Two distinct winter storms then dangerous cold have us in a First Alert form Thursday night through Monday night.
The first winter storm is the weaker of the two and will bring a wintry mix on Thursday night and rain most likely on Friday morning.
The second winter storm is significant and will impact the entire East Coast Saturday night through the day Sunday. Then the cold moves in.
This article will no longer be updated. Get the latest details on the storm here.
A pair of winter storms followed by dangerously cold temperatures will hit the Philadelphia region over the next five days.
This threatening weather will come in three distinct parts with conditions ranging from snow and ice to heavy rain to strong wind to sub-zero temperatures.
We've issued a First Alert for the winter weather starting Thursday evening and lasting through Monday, which is also the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Here is the latest breakdown from the First Alert Weather Team:
First: The Nuisance Storm — Thursday night into Friday morning
The first winter storm is the weaker of the two. This storm will bring light snow and rain Thursday night and Friday morning. The best chance for accumulating snow will be north and west of Philadelphia. Light rain and snow will end Friday morning.
There should be no problems for the Thursday evening rush. Light snow moves in later in the evening. The snow should change to rain along the I-95 Corridor early on Friday. North and west of the city, where temps will remain colder, they may only see snow.
Roads could be slippery and schools could be impacted Friday morning the further north and west your get from the City.
Expected snowfall totals on untreated surfaces: 1 to 3 inches in Berks County, the Lehigh Valley and north/west Pa. suburbs; Up to an inch in Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware; Little to no snow at the Jersey shore, southern Delaware and Delaware beaches.
Temps should push into the low 40s Friday. Then dry conditions continue into the day on Saturday.
Second: The Major Storm – Saturday evening through Sunday night
The second winter storm will cause problems for the entire East Coast and could bring ice to parts of our region.
Based on the latest predicted track, Philadelphia and neighborhoods north and west should see a period of snow Saturday night then a switch-over to heavy rain on Sunday for much of the area. The precipitation will flip back over to snow Sunday night with ice possible as temps change.
Snow should begin to fall late Saturday afternoon into evening becoming heavy in points north and west. Ice then becomes a concern late Saturday night as freezing rain could fall as the ground remains cold. A quarter of an inch, or more, of ice could accumulate by Sunday morning in the northern and western suburbs, Lehigh Valley, Berks County and Poconos.
What you get will depend on where you are and how the rain/snow/ice line moves during the storm. Even a small amount of ice could knock out power and bring down tree limbs leaving homes without heat when people need it most.
Inches of rain could then fall once it begins to just rain.
The biggest uncertainty is the location of the rain/snow line, which may bisect the Philadelphia area at times leaving some neighborhoods in rain and others in snow and ice Temps that could fluctuate from the 50s along the coast to below freezing north and west will be critical in determining the effects of the storm.
As Arctic air rushes in later on Sunday, any leftover moisture will quickly freeze — slush will likely turn to ice on roads and sidewalks. The sooner you shovel, especially in northern and western suburbs, the better as whatever snow is on the ground will harden as temps quickly drop.
It’s still too soon to predict how much snow and ice could fall as there is uncertainty.
Third: Dangerous Cold – Late Sunday through Monday night
The coldest air of the winter season so far will plunge our neighborhoods into a deep freeze later Sunday as winds, with gusts above 40 mph possible, blow. Low temperatures are expected to rest in the single digits and highs in the teens on Monday.
Making matter worse, the wind chill will remain well below zero all day, but it'll feel 10 to 20 degrees below zero.
Any moisture left on the ground will freeze making for potentially treacherous travel Monday.
This Arctic blast will come on one of the most popular days for volunteerism: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Outdoor activities are likely to be moved or canceled.
The African American Museum in Philadelphia hopes to get people inside as quickly as possible Monday. Other groups are also making plans for the cold. Keep an eye on social media and reach out to organizations to learn of any changes to volunteer opportunities.
Temps still won’t break the freezing mark Tuesday when sunny skies push the high temperatures into the upper 20s. Relief from the cold finally comes on Wednesday with high temps pushing into the 40s.
Our team of First Alert meteorologists will keep you updated with the latest forecast here and on air and on the NBC10 App so you will be prepared for rain, snow or both and bitter cold in your neighborhood.