The Blizzard of 2016: Philly forecasters’ predictions for snow pile up

Area meteorologists finally starting to play the “inches game,” and politicians are announcing how they’ll prepare.

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Screenshot, Fox 29

Philadelphia, we have a blizzard watch! That’s the official announcement from the National Weather Service as of late this morning. And it means blinding snow. If predictions turn out true, you will barely be able to see on Saturday.

Speaking of predictions, area meteorologists finally starting to play the “inches game,” and politicians are announcing how they’ll prepare. Below is a roundup of how things stand for a winter storm that most everyone is predicting will start sometime after 8 p.m. on Friday and continue through Saturday.   

We’re trying to keep the weather forecasters in check for this storm and compare their projections to what really happens. So if you hear or see any other predictions, let us know on this Google Form.

The predictions

John Bolaris, Metro

12-plus inches for Philadelphia, with the possibility of 1-2 feet in the ‘burbs.

Katie Fehlinger, CBS3

She was saying 17 inches earlier this week. Now she’s changed her estimate to “at least a foot around” Philadelphia and claiming the strong winds could get up to 60 mph.

Adam Joseph, 6ABC

You know it’s getting serious if Joseph is starting to offer projections. He derided early projections as “scare tactics” in a Facebook post. For now he’s saying about a foot of snow or up. 

David Murphy, 6ABC

Murphy says 12-18 inches for the Philadelphia area. He’s also the only TV meteorologist to specifically explain how we might end up getting less. He said the storm could be pushed out farther to the west or to the south.

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Kathy Orr, Fox 29

12-18 inches

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Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz, NBC10

10-plus inches

National Weather Service

They are not getting into any inches talk yet. The National Weather Service called for the “blizzard watch” and is calling for heavy snow and winds. But it hasn’t yet declared projections on snowfall: “We also want to emphasize the uncertainty with the snowfall forecast for this event. Although models have been honing in on this winter storm threat for remarkably over a week, the small scale details of this storm (that will determine exactly where the heaviest snow falls and how far inland the mixing reaches) is yet to be determined.”

The officials

Governor Tom Wolf

The Gov declared a state of emergency for Pennsylvania. What does this mean? Basically, Pennsylvania state agencies will be working overtime the next day or so to get people prepared for the winter storm.

Mayor Jim Kenney

Kenney’s office announced that the Streets Department started brining Philadelphia’s roads on Wednesday to start getting the city prepared for snow. It won’t start salting the roads until snow falls. 

Kenney will be holding a press conference at 5:15 this afternoon to discuss what his administration is calling an “Anticipated Snow Event.”

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