First ice and snow of the winter coming to Philly

Winter is coming. Forecasters are predicting a heavy downpour beginning Thursday and running through Friday that will range from snow and sleet to freezing rain.

“The first winter storm of the season is likely to impact our area Thursday through Friday,” meteorologists with the National Weather Service Mt. Holly station forecast on Wednesday. “Many areas south of I-95 will experience a wintry mix tomorrow morning.”

The storm system will range over different parts of the city cycling through temperatures depending on the activity of pressure systems and in the region, but regardless of the form of precipitation, expect mild to serious delays during your commute Thursday and Friday.

The snow and sleet is forecast to fall all day Thursday, from roughly 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

After 5 p.m. it is expected to turn into 1 to 2 inches of heavy, freezing rain.

“Just to be clear, this will NOT be solely a rain/snow event!” the National Weather Service said. “Sleet and freezing rain is also expected to be in the mix.”

Ironically, the first day of winter is technically pegged at Dec. 21, 2018.

But this storm is bringing freezing temps, particularly to further north neighborhoods above I-95.

Recent cold temps in the 30s to 40s are unusually harsh for mid-November in the Philadelphia region. When the storm comes, its expected to drop snowflakes across the city — and definitely some slush, at the very least.

Forecasters are saying temps may marginally increase by the end of the day Thursday, melting whatever snow has fallen across the day. Temps are expected to stay cold on Friday, but more snow is not expected, while the following week is expected to remain cold but relatively dry. So in any event, be prepared for the worst.

It remains unclear if the weather will impact the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend, which so far has not yet made any announcements about changes to its schedule.

Cold weather safety tips:

This week’s storm is not expected to be brutal, but could seriously impact conditions on the roads during the end of the work-week before Thanksgiving.

Always remember when driving in snowy, icy or rainy conditions:
-Leave plenty of stopping distance between fellow cars. You never know when they may need to stop short.
-Make sure your tires are properly inflated and the treads are in good shape.
-If stuck in icy or snow, never spin your tires, it will just get you stuck. Likewise if your car begins to slide know how antilock brake technology works so you don’t lose control of the vehicle or go hydrogliding. Try tapping your brake lightly instead of stamping on it to gradually slow down.
-Be prepared for emergencies. Having an emergency kit in your car with supplies, water, flashlights and other items if stopped roadside is always a great idea, plus up-to-date car insurance.

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