PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Confidence is increasing that a major winter storm will bring moderate to potentially significant impacts to the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys this weekend. A majority of weather models indicate that a Nor’easter will race up the Eastern Seaboard and undergo a process of explosive strengthening, referred to as bombogenesis.
Heavy snow and strong winds are the primary concerns throughout a Friday night, Saturday and Saturday night timeframe. Plan for the possibility of difficult to near-impossible travel, flight cancellations and power outages.
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Light snow may begin as early as midday Friday in association with a cold front before the Nor’easter approaches Friday night when the snowfall would increase in intensity.
The height of the storm looks to span from early Saturday morning into at least early afternoon during which snowfall rates of 1-2 inches-plus per hour and thundersnow may be possible.
Falling snow may persist into Saturday evening and / or night.
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Winds could really start to crank Saturday morning and continue all day and all night. Wind gusts up to 45 mph appear possible with locally higher gusts in the Poconos and at the Jersey Shore.
Heavy accumulated snow and strong winds are a recipe for widespread power outages. Long duration blowing snow is possible from Friday night through Sunday night.
This impending winter storm has the potential to produce a snowfall total that could be amongst the top 20 one-day snows in Philadelphia history.
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Please stay tuned to the evolving forecast and start to plan for a possible major snowstorm.