Delaware gets through Tuesday snow, now braces for the freeze
The best way to describe the snow falls of this week is that one took us by surprise and the other didn't live up to expectations. Tuesday's snow with predictions of up to a half foot and lasting all day, came in on the lower end of the projected total.
As of noon Tuesday, the National Weather Service reports more than three inches of snow fell in North Wilmington. A total of 2.8 inches of snow fell in Talleyville, while 2.5 inches fell in Greenville. Snow totals were lower further to the south. Just 1.7 inches had fallen in Newark as of 11 a.m. Tuesday. Glasgow saw 1.4 inches as of about noon. The Middletown-Odessa-Townsend area south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal saw about an inch or even less in some spots.
The big chill
While the worst of the snowfall is over, the winter weather will continue into the overnight hours tonight in the form of freezing temperatures. A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday. Tonight's overnight low is forecast to be 20 degrees. The overnight low on Wednesday is expected to hit 15 degrees, followed by an even colder night Thursday night, with the low forecast to hit 12 degrees.
Delaware's next chance for wintry precipitation comes this weekend. The National Weather Service forecast for Saturday shows a 60 percent chance of rain and snow with a high temperature of about 39 degrees. That frozen precipitation could stretch into Saturday night, with an overnight low of 35 degrees.
The snow began just after 7:30 in New Castle County. By 8:30 the heavy flakes and reduced visibility on the major roadways. State, county and Wilmington city government were quick to close down this morning. Morning radio was filled with school closing and event cancellations. The Christmas Carol event on Rodney Square was cancelled, but the tree is ready for its official unveiling.
The storm moved quickly so that by lunchtime all that was left was the cleanup. A survey through downtown Wilmington saw empty streets, but plenty of people out cleaning up sidewalks to make sure a return to work on Wednesday would go smoothly.
In anticipation of the dropping temperatures the speed on the Delaware Memorial Bridge was reduced to 35 miles per hour, but was put back to 50 mph for the afternoon drive hours. DelDOT reports all roads in the state as wet. Sanding and salt crews will be used throughout the day to prevent icing.
Delmarva Power reported two problem areas. Crews were working along the 3300 block of Frazer Road to restore power. A small number of people also lost power in the Newark area.
Most people took the day in stride. The check out line at the ShopRite in Wilmington at 8 a.m. did look more like it was 5 p.m. rather than early in the morning. Later in the day, there were glimpses of the sun, which was all kids needed to head to a hill near the Veterans Memorial Park in New Castle to glide along the perfect mix of snow down the hill.
A quick check of a big box hardware store had a large display of snow blowers sitting out front. It might be an image of what's to come for 2014.