The Latest on the Looming Weekend Snowstorm

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Snapped from the 36th Floor of 1818 Market Street on Tk date.

Can you hear it, Philadelphia? Your co-workers are whispering about it. People on the Internet[1] are tweeting about it. People[2] in[3] the media[4] are[5] covering[6] it[7]. And now this story.

Your first question is the simplest one, of course: How much snow are we going to get? It’s hard to say. As we wrote yesterday[8], we won’t really get accurate snowfall total predictions until later tomorrow at the earliest. Anything before is still too far out for a prediction.

But Slate wrote about how it’s a “blizzard for the ages.”[9] As meteorologist Eric Holthaus notes there, Paul Kocin — who wrote Northeast Snowstorms Vols. 1 and 2[10] — compared it to the Blizzard of 1996, the President’s Day Snowstorm of 2003 and the February 2010 snowstorm. “The mechanisms coming together for a major snowfall are textbook,” Kocin wrote[11].

So we don’t have any totals yet. But meteorologists are starting to agree[12] that it looks like we’re headed for a major snowfall this weekend. “Let’s cut to the chase,” Kocin wrote at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center[13]. “The main event in the medium range is the potential for a significant East Coast snowstorm from Friday through Sunday.”

Here is an attached update on the Fri pm-Sat storm. #njwx[14] #dewx[15] #pawx[16] #mdwx[17] pic.twitter.com/gVdJxMB3vl[18]

— NWS Mount Holly (@NWS_MountHolly) January 19, 2016[19]

The snow is expected to start Friday evening; it will continue through Saturday night. It’s possible the snow could continue until Sunday. How much we get depends on if the weather gets warm enough Saturday to change to rain for a period. If it doesn’t get warm enough to change over to snow, that means we’re looking at a major snowstorm. Winds should make conditions treacherous no matter how much snow we get.

While focus is on snow, important to note ESTOFS storm surge predictions >5ft around NYC on top of high tide Sat AM pic.twitter.com/lNZu5118Jt[20]

— Sam Lillo (@splillo) January 19, 2016[21]

ETSurge guidance is coming in 0.2' under #Sandy[22] water level at Cape May NJ and 0.2' over #Sandy[22] water level at Lewes, DE.

— Gary Szatkowski (@GarySzatkowski) January 19, 2016[23]

Snow isn’t the only worry. There could be a major storm surge down the shore. Thanks to the full moon, it won’t take much to cause coastal flooding this weekend. The National Weather Service Mt. Holly bureau says it may be[24] “a top-5 coast flood event in our record-keeping dating back through at least the 1940s.”

For now, the best thing you can do is prepare. Find your shovels. Prep for flooding down the shore. Tell your friend you might not hit his party in the suburbs that weekend. And, of course, raid the ACME for enough food to feed a small army.

Follow @dhm[25] on Twitter.

Endnotes:
  1. People on the Internet: https://twitter.com/search?q=snow+philadelphia
  2. People: https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Possible-Major-Snowstorm-Philadelphia-Region--365681891.html
  3. in: http://cbsloc.al/pwYidm
  4. the media: http://mobile.philly.com/beta?wss=/philly/news&id=365740451
  5. are: http://www.wunderground.com/news/snow-ohio-valley-middle-atlantic-northeast
  6. covering: http://www.fox29.com/news/local-news/77299050-story
  7. it: https://6abc.com/weather/accuweather-bitter-today-friday-snow-possible/49644/
  8. we wrote yesterday: https://www.phillymag.com/news/2016/01/18/philadelphia-weekend-snow/
  9. wrote about how it’s a “blizzard for the ages.”: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/01/19/east_coast_blizzard_will_impact_washington_new_york_boston.html
  10. Northeast Snowstorms Vols. 1 and 2: http://www.amazon.com/Northeast-Snowstorms-Volume-Set/dp/1878220640
  11. Kocin wrote: https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/689482912236834817
  12. meteorologists are starting to agree: http://www.wunderground.com/news/snow-ohio-valley-middle-atlantic-northeast
  13. Kocin wrote at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center: http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/discussions/hpcdiscussions.php?disc=pmdepd
  14. #njwx: https://twitter.com/hashtag/njwx?src=hash
  15. #dewx: https://twitter.com/hashtag/dewx?src=hash
  16. #pawx: https://twitter.com/hashtag/pawx?src=hash
  17. #mdwx: https://twitter.com/hashtag/mdwx?src=hash
  18. pic.twitter.com/gVdJxMB3vl: https://t.co/gVdJxMB3vl
  19. January 19, 2016: https://twitter.com/NWS_MountHolly/status/689462534361874432
  20. pic.twitter.com/lNZu5118Jt: https://t.co/lNZu5118Jt
  21. January 19, 2016: https://twitter.com/splillo/status/689476676573466624
  22. #Sandy: https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sandy?src=hash
  23. January 19, 2016: https://twitter.com/GarySzatkowski/status/689513202695016448
  24. says it may be: https://twitter.com/HWSincavage/status/689543027308638208
  25. @dhm: http://twitter.com/dhm

Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/news/2016/01/19/weekend-snowstorm-philadelphia/