PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - The National Weather Service has upgraded our Blizzard Watch to a Blizzard Warning for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Meanwhile, the city of Philadelphia has declared a Snow Emergency.
What is the criteria for a blizzard? Friday night into Saturday morning, we expect wind gusts of 35 miles an hour or more and visibility reduced to a quarter-mile or less because of blowing and drifting snow, FOX 29 Weather Authority’s Sue Serio explained.
All of this is expected to last at least three hours, probably more, since this is expected to be an all-day event. There will be plenty of time to pile up at least a foot of snow in the Blizzard Warning area.
Beyond that, there will be lesser amounts, especially down at Jersey Shore and southern parts of Delaware, where we do expect rain to mix in.
Of course, a whole other set of problems come with the high wind down there and coastal flooding because it is a full moon this weekend, Saturday in particular.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf declared a state of emergency in Pennsylvania on Thursday afternoon.
Early Friday morning, the storm is at the leading edge in North Carolina, moving into southern Virginia. But radar illustrates what we will be dealing with Saturday here, rain, sleet in between, and snow to the north. And where that rain-snow line sets up will be crucial to snow amounts when all is said and done.
We're most likely to have power outages because of the high wind bringing down that heavy, wet snow. It is supposed to be that consistency of snow that is very difficult to shovel and can bring trees and power lines down pretty easily with winds gusting to 40 to 60 miles an hour. That is a problem.
Here's the timing of the storm: We could see a flurry or two to the south late Friday afternoon, but for most part it is around 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. when we will the snow start moving into the area. It snows all night long and into Saturday around 7:00 p.m. at a pretty good clip.
We may have a break in the action about midday Saturday.
Hopefully, you can hunker down all day on Saturday.
It’s still uncertain where that rain-band will set up as it creeps up from south to north, and there is the possibility of a dry slot.
We're expecting wind to gust, and whatever falls will be blowing around.
Our snow map hasn't changed much, with the bullseye being on the Baltimore-Washington area, where they will get the brunt of the storm. We’re not that far away, but we are expecting a foot or more of snow in most local areas.
Along the I-95 corridor is where we could see the most snow with an estimated 12"-18", with bands bringing 6"-12" inches both north and south of that area.
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