Philly Is Officially Under Blizzard Watch

City continues to gear up for anticipated snowstorm.

Photo by Shutterstock

Photo by Shutterstock

It’s official: Philly is now under a “blizzard watch.” In Star Trek terms, that’s about a yellow alert. Red alert? That’s when the white stuff hits, probably on Friday.

Gov. Tom Wolf today also took the step of declaring a state of emergency in preparation for the storm.

“Declaring a state of emergency allows the commonwealth to deliver state resources wherever they’re needed as quickly as possible,” he said in a released statement. “We have multiple state agencies working at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to monitor weather conditions across the state and we will respond to help local governments and residents in need.”

Here’s a broader, regional look from the National Weather Service:

A Blizzard Watch is now in effect for the areas highlighted in green. For more information, please visit

Posted by US National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly on Thursday, January 21, 2016

The service adds: “12 to 18 inches of snow is expected…with lesser amounts near the coast and in the Poconos and far northwest New Jersey. A Winter Storm Watch is now in effect for the entire region for Friday night into Sunday for heavy snow.” And it’ll be windy: With gusts up to 60 mph in some spots, ranging closer to 30 mph further inland.

Other things to know:

• Airlines at Philadelphia International Airport are waiving flight-change fees for flights scheduled in and out of airport during the storm. Check with your airline to see if you’re eligible to change your plans.

• A reminder that you’l be able to track PennDot snowplow trucks as they hit the road this year: Just check out this website and watch the miracle of snow removal happen in real time.

• Finally, a reminder that Frank Zappa was only half-right: You don’t want to eat that yellow snow, no, but in fact, you don’t want to eat any of it. Philly Mag’s Be Well Philly blog reports the seemingly pristine flakes are filled with pollutants, some of it carcinogenic. Which means the days of celebrating a blizzard by making snow ice cream should probably be over.