(WTXF/AP) - A Blizzard Warning is in effect for Philadelphia’s northern and western suburbs through Tuesday. The heaviest snow will fall between 8 a.m.-noon. Snow rates in the Blizzard Warning area will be 2-4” an hour at times.
A Blizzard Warning has been issued for much of Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Mercer Counties. Philadelphia and Delaware Counties are not included in the warnings at this time. The Warnings go into effect at 8 p.m. and will last until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories have been issued for most of the area. The National Weather Service says that means "the heavy snow will make many roads impassable and may produce widespread power outages due to the weight of the snow on tree limbs and power lines. Strong winds will lead to blowing snow, reduced visibility, and additional power outages."
The first flakes could reach the Northern and Western parts of the area as early as 8 p.m. Monday night. However, most of the area will see their first flakes later in the evening, closer to midnight. It’ll pile up quickly overnight, and it could fall at a rate of 1-2 inches an hour.
The heaviest of the snowfall is expected to impact the area early Tuesday morning through mid-day.
Tuesday afternoon the snow will finally begin to taper off as the storm pulls away from the area, but snow will continue to fall until early morning Wednesday as some leftover snow showers and flurries hang around.
The sweet spot with this Nor'easter lies further to the north in the Poconos and Lehigh where there is potential for 16-24 inches of snow.
Next in line is the northwest suburbs who could see 12-15 inches, followed by the city, where residents are looking at 6-10 inches to a foot of snow. Philadelphia is also facing the potential for a wintry mix of some sleet and rain, which could help keep the totals on the lower end.
Over in New Jersey, residents along the New Jersey Turnpike and I-295 could see 6-8 inches, while coastal New Jersey is looking at 4-8 inches before possibly mixing with sleet and becoming all rain.
Shore towns are looking at a coating to 4 inches before the snow begins to mix or changes to rain.
With this system, as we have seen in with previous storms this winter, the temperature is toeing the line between giving us more rain and less snow.
Tuesday's is expected to get up to 34 degrees, with a low of just 31, leaving us hanging at just about freezing for most of the area for most of the day. Wednesday will continue to be cloudy, with a high of 32 keeping the flurries around.
There are High Wind Warnings for Cape May and Sussex counties, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday. Winds will peak between mid-morning and early afternoon.
Winds inland could gust as high as 40mph, while winds along the coast could gust as high as 50-60 mph.
Strong winds may blow down limbs, trees, and power lines, and scattered power outages are expected.
There will be a Coastal Flood Warning for New Jersey and Delaware shore areas, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday. High tide is expected 9-10 a.m. Tuesday, and should bring moderate flooding..
Further north, Blizzard Warnings have been issued for Ocean and Monmouth counties, up to New York, 8pm Monday to 6pm Tuesday.
FOX 29’s Bob Kelly reports the storm is already affecting airports like Chicago, where there are hour-long delays at O’Hare. The airlines don’t want planes stuck in storms like we’re going to have so if you have to leave town, then plan ahead and check with your airline. PHL has seen long lines of people trying to leave early.
There have also been delays on rail lines. Monday, people are making sure to get to work or wherever they're going, possibly to avoid having to go out during the Tuesday storm.
Also Monday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency in anticipation of the Nor’easter. That includes speed restrictions on the Turnpike and all area highways, plus increases protections for consumers from price-gouging.