7:00 AM | ***Sleet cuts way down on prospective snow totals...wintry mix to change to snow this morning***
A thin layer of warm air in the lower part of the atmosphere has helped to produce sleet in many areas during the past several hours and this will cut way down on the potential snow totals for this storm. In fact, freezing rain has also gotten into the mix in some portions of the I-95 corridor. As the rapidly intensifying low pressure system pulls northeast this morning, the sleet - which will be heavy at times - should change to snow in many areas to the northwest of Route I-95 and additional snow accumulations are likely, but nothing like earlier prospects. The good news about sleet is that it bounces off of tree limbs, but rain, of course, is not good news as it'll help to weigh down tree limbs that received snow cover last night. Roads are quite slippery in many areas with a coating of packed down snow and sleet.
Across the DC metro region, the wintry mix is already changing back to snow in most areas and this can accumulate up to a couple of inches during the next few hours. To the north and west of Philly, the wintry mix should change to snow this morning and there still can be several inches of snowfall in some areas by the end of the storm. From the city of Philly and to the southeast in interior New Jersey, freezing rain has gotten into the mix and all of this mess should also change to snow as the storm pulls to the northeast later this morning. Farther to the north, sleet has also become an issue in the NYC metro region as well, but significant snow is still likely up there as the storm heads towards Long Island over the next several hours. In all areas, winds will increase noticeably in intensity over the next few hours as the central pressure of the storm continues to drop rapidly. One other note, there be some thundersnow later today in areas north of the PA/MD border as the storm continues to deepen rapidly.
Stay tuned as this is still a tricky storm and it’ll change on an hour-by-hour basis with the next couple of hours critical to any chances of still receiving any significant snowfall.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian