UPDATE 1/3/14 7am:
Winter storm warning remains in effect until 1 pm est this afternoon. Hazard types – snow along with areas of blowing and drifting snow.
Dangerous wind chills. Snow accumulations – 6 to 9 inches. Timing – snow will taper off this morning. Impacts – travel will be hazardous with the snow on the ground and temperatures well below freezing.
Blowing and drifting snow is expected this morning and afternoon. Winds – north 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.
Temperatures – teens and single digits. Visibilities – less than 1/2 mile at times.
Wind chills – the combination of very cold temperatures and increasing winds will create dangerous wind chills ranging from 5 below to 15 below zero.
The higher elevations will have the lowest wind chills.
UPDATE 1/2/14 8am:
Winter Storm Warning now in effect from 1 pm this afternoon to 1 pm EST Fri
- Hazard types – snow along with areas of blowing and drifting snow.
- Snow accumulations – 6 to 10 inches.
- Timing – some snow is possible this morning through early afternoon however the snow will then increase by later this afternoon with the bulk of the snow expected tonight and Fri morning.
- Impacts – travel will become hazardous late today as snow increases. This will be an increasingly fluffy snow and as winds increase tonight. Blowing and drifting snow will make travel even more hazardous. Road plowing operations will be greatly affected. Especially due to blowing and drifting snow and also snowfall rates near an inch per hour at times during the height of the storm tonight. It is possible that the combination of snow and wind creates near blizzard conditions at times. Especially for areas farther east.
- Winds – north 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph, then becoming northwest on Fri.
- Visibilities – less than one half of a mile at times.
- Temperatures – in the 20s to lower 30s Thu, then dropping into the teens and single digits Thu night into Fri.
- Wind chills – the combination of very cold temperatures and gusty winds later Thu night will create dangerous wind chills ranging from 5 below to 20 below zero. The higher elevations should have the most dangerous wind chills. Therefore, outdoor exposure should be minimized if possible.
A winter storm warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected. Heavy snow, blowing snow, and dangerously cold wind chills are forecast. Travel will become dangerous. If you must travel keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
- Snow fall in Chester County is forecasted as follows: Northern to Central Chester County 8-10″; Central to Southern Chester County: 6-8″
- Timing: The heaviest of snowfall will occur between sunset Thursday and sunrise Friday. Snowfall could reach up to 1″ per hour and gusting winds will likely create near blizzard-like conditions.
- Temperatures are still expected to plummet and will be in the single digits Thursday night. With the increasing winds the wind chill will create the feeling of subzero temperatures.
- Anticipated Impacts:
- Roadways where temperatures are above freezing will rapidly freeze over Thursday evening.
- Blowing snow will cause significant visibility restrictions.
- Blowing snow will close already plowed roadways.
- Roadway chemicals will lose their effectiveness Thursday night as the temperatures get colder.
- Water pipes may freeze and burst with the very cold temperatures expected at sunrise Saturday.
- Recommended Actions:
- Check on elderly and young neighbors; those most at-risk to becoming susceptible during this storm.
- Visit www.ready.gov/winter-weather for tips on staying safe and dealing with frozen pipes in this storm.
UPDATE 1/1/14 3:30pm
Winter storm watch alert:
A winter storm will affect the entire area later Thu and Fri along with areas of blowing and drifting snow and dangerous cold.
An area of low pressure will develop Thu, then strengthen rapidly as it tracks northeastward and away from our area Thu night and Fri.
As this occurs, snow is expected to develop across the entire area especially Thu night then taper off friday morning. A dangerously cold airmass will overspread the area Thu night and Fri as the storm intensifies out to sea.
Winter storm watch in effect from Thu evening through Fri morning.
Hazard types – snow along with areas of blowing and drifting snow.
Snow accumulations – 3 to 7 inches anticipated.
Timing – snow is forecast to develop from northwest to southeast during Thu afternoon, then widespread snow is expected Thu night and Fri morning. The precipitation should start as some rain or a rain snow mix later thu before changing to all snow.
Impacts – travel should become hazardous thursday evening as snow begins to accumulate. This will be an increasingly fluffy snow and as winds increase thursday night, blowing and drifting snow should make travel even more hazardous. Road plowing
operations would be greatly affected, especially due to blowing and drifting snow and also snowfall rates near an inch per hour at times during the height of the storm Thu night.
Winds – northeast to north at 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph, then becoming northwest during Fri.
Temperatures – starting out ranging between about the lower 30s to lower 40s thu afternoon, then falling into the 20s and teens Thu night. All areas should be in the teens by daybreak Fri. Where temperatures start out well above freezing Thu, flash freezing can occur thu night as temperatures rapidly drop below freezing and the snow increases.
Visibilities – less than one half of a mile a times Thu night.
UPDATE 12/31/13 1pm
Here are the details of the impending snow and extreme cold/wind:
- Snow is expected Thu and Thu night. The exact timing is not known. We are forecasted to receive 2-4″ of snow.
- Extreme cold and winds will produce very low temperatures Fri day and night and Sat night. We are expected to reach single digit temperatures with wind chills subzero Fri. Temperatures will rise a bit on Sat day but drop into the teens Sat night.
- With the winds is the chance of blowing snow making travel dangerous on Fri. Again, exact timing is unknown.
- Check on your “at-risk” neighbors. This includes those young, the elderly, those with drug and alcohol dependncies, those with transportation needs, and the homeless.
- Visit http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather for tips on dealing with the weather including what to do if pipes freeze.
- Remember DO NOT call 9-1-1 to report power outages. You should call your electric service provider. Those numbers are PECO: (800) 841-4141; PPL: (800) 342-5775; MetEd: (888) 544-4877.
A storm system will be affecting the area Thu into Fri. Based on current model guidance, precipitation will begin Thu morning, then continue into Fri afternoon.
Precipitation should start out as snow, but then change over to rain, or a rain-snow mixture. North and west of the I-95 corridor, all snow is currently expected, but precipitation values will be less.
Based on current model guidance, snow totals everywhere will likely be in the advisory category or less. As a reminder, advisory category snow amounts are 2 to 4 inches of snow in the Philadelphia metro area and areas south and east; 3 to 6 inches north and west of the Philadelphia metro area.
Even more important than possible snow will be the extreme cold and gusty winds behind this system late Thu night through Sat. High temperatures on Fri will struggle to get out of the teens south and out of the single digits north.
Low temperatures Fri night / Sat morning will sink to the zero to 10 degree range south and zero to minus 10 degree range north. Gusty northwest winds could create wind chill factors in the minus 20 to minus 30 degree range.
This kind of extreme cold hasn’t been seen around here for years. Humans and animals exposed to these extreme temperatures for any length of time will be in grave danger. Frozen pipes in unprotected areas, and concrete and asphalt pavement cracking can also be expected.
While there is a lot of uncertainty with the snow forecast in this prognosis, the cold temperatures and gusty winds are more certain. In the near future we will be sending important preparedness tips and “what to do” information in the event you experience issues with the cold.