One of the busiest travel days of the year will be even busier than normal as a mix of rain and snow is expected to hit the area Thanksgiving Eve.
The system is expected to drop up to a foot of snow in the Poconos and up to five inches in the Philadelphia area, according to NBC10 First Alert Chief Meteorologist Glenn Schwartz.
The storm will begin as rain at or just before the morning rush Wednesday before changing to mainly snow north and west of Philadelphia. The peak of the storm will hit between 8 a.m.and 2 p.m. with a mix of heavy rain and snow for most of the area aside from the Jersey Shore.
Between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. rain will change to snow at the Jersey Shore while snow will remain north and west. The snow will begin to lighten around 7 p.m. before tapering off around 11 p.m.
While Glenn doesn't expect much ice to accumulate on roads, he's still warning drivers traveling Wednesday to be wary.
"I don't expect any ice of any significance," Glenn said. "Early season storms and late season storms can sometimes change from heavy rain to snow in a matter of minutes. People need to be alert and monitor any changes."
Philadelphia/I-95 Corridor Wednesday Timeline
6 a.m. to 9 a.m. - Rainy and cold
9 a.m. to noon - Rain changes to snow
Noon to 5 p.m. - Mainly snow, some accumulation
5 p.m. to 10 p.m. - Snow ending, some lingers
North and West Suburbs/Lehigh Valley/Poconos Wednesday Timeline
4 a.m. to 8 a.m. - Rain changes to snow
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Heaviest snow accumulating
2 p.m. to 7 p.m. - Snow continues
7 p.m. to 11 p.m. - Most snow ending
South Jersey, Delaware Wednesday Timeline
4 a.m. to 8 a.m. - Rain develops
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Rain continues
2 p.m. to 7 p.m. - Some rain to wintry mix or snow
7 p.m. to 11 p.m. - Chance of snow
Estimated Snow Totals
Lehigh Valley/Poconos - 8 to 12 inches
North and West Suburbs - 5 to 8 inches
Philadelphia/I-95 Corridor - 3 to 5 inches
South Jersey/Delaware - 1 to 3 inches
The Thanksgiving Eve snow is just one part of a wild week in weather. Warmer air moved into the area Monday leading to a record-breaking high for this time of year of 72 degrees, topping the previous record of 71 set in 1979.
Temperatures will fall again with an expected high of 59 degrees Tuesday and 45 degrees Wednesday. Thanksgiving will be cold, with a high of 42 degrees, but sunny, as the wet weather will be out of the area by then.
The cold temperatures will continue Friday with a high of 40 degrees before they rise slightly with a high of 45 Saturday and 49 Sunday.
Despite the possible rain and snow Wednesday, Thanksgiving travelers in our area do have some good news. PennDOT officials told NBC10 they’ve made numerous road improvements for motorists traveling through Pennsylvania between Wednesday and Sunday. Those improvements include six lanes on Route 202 between Routes 252 and 401.
“Some motorists wanting to get to the Turnpike Interchange or the connections between the Schuylkill Expressway and 422, that’s greatly improved for travel,” said PennDOT spokesman Gene Blaum.
A rock embankment was also stabilized on the eastbound side near Pennsylvania Route 23. Resurfacing has also been done from Spring Garden to 30th Street and near Passyunk Avenue.
New southbound lanes also opened Sunday morning on I-95 near Cottman Avenue.
Stay with NBC10.com throughout the week for the latest details on the expected Thanksgiving Eve weather.