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January 16, 2018

Snow and temperature ups and downs could snarl AM commute

A couple inches of snow – delayed.

Daytime temperatures above freezing.

Nighttime temperatures below freezing.

It adds up to what could be a slippery Wednesday morning commute in the Philadelphia region, forecasters say.

A secondary low pressure system is expected to strengthen gradually on its move northward off the coasts of Delaware and New Jersey, creating precipitation – likely snow – over the region for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

But forecasters say the lowest part of the atmosphere should be warm enough for some rain to fall in South Jersey – and perhaps a wintry mix to start in the city – early Tuesday night. That warmth could cut into snow accumulations, they said.

Regardless, it will be snow after dark, with the snow arriving in western suburbs around 7 p.m. and then in Philadelphia by 10 p.m. An inch or two is possible in the city and suburbs, but little or no snow accumulation likely in far South Jersey and eastern Delaware.

Skiers can rejoice. The Poconos look to see as much as a half-foot of snow on its resorts.

A light wind for much of Tuesday night should become northwest around 10 mph toward dawn Wednesday. Winds will increase to 10 to 15 mph through the day with some gusts approaching 20 mph.

With temperatures falling Tuesday and remaining below freezing for the Wednesday morning rush, untreated roads and sidewalks will be slippery. Motorists are advised to use extra caution.

Motorists had a difficult time on Tuesday morning after a coating of snow slicked roads in Berks County, causing multiple crashes and road closures. Most school districts in Berks canceled classes.

Philadelphia, for its part, saw just a few flurries on Tuesday morning.

By late Wednesday afternoon, the region should be clearing out, the precipitation expected to be mainly off the coast by then.

Meanwhile, an ice jam continues to pose a flood threat to the New Jersey and Pennsylvania sides of the Delaware River.

NoneSource/NOAA / National Weather Service

A flood warning is still in effect after the icy river rose in Trenton. The river was about two feet below flood stage Tuesday and expected to remain in or around that level, with some fluctuation, forecasters reported. Minor flooding is expected along the river in Trenton and Ewing in New Jersey and Yardley and Morrisville in Pennsylvania.

Looking ahead to the weekend, high pressure is expected to build across the region late in the week and bring dry weather and warmer temperatures.

The game forecast for the Eagles' NFC Championship contest against the Minnesota Vikings at the Linc is partly sunny with a high near 52 – 15 degrees above normal – as the tailgaters descend upon the stadium on Sunday afternoon. The low Sunday night will be around 40, with south-southwest winds of about 5 mph.

Here is the 7-day forecast for Philadelphia from the National Weather Service:

Tuesday: A slight chance of rain after 4 p.m. Cloudy, with a high near 40. Light southeast wind. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

Tuesday night: A slight chance of rain before 8 p.m., then snow. Low around 29. Calm wind becoming northwest 5 to 7 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Wednesday: Snow, mainly before 1 p.m. High near 33. Northwest wind 8 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Wednesday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 19. Northwest wind around 10 mph.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 35. West wind 9 to 11 mph.

Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 24.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 42.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 29.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 48.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 35.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 52.

Eagles Gameday: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 39.

Monday: A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 55. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent.