Winter storm expected to dump 4-7 inches of snow downstate Delaware today

DOVER — Hazardous weather outlook and winter storm warnings are in effect for downstate Delaware over the next several days.

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey, predicts that a coastal storm today could dump four to seven inches of snow.

But the service also notes that even small shifts in the storm track could result in significant changes to snowfall amounts.

The winter storm warning will remain in effect until 6 p.m. today. The weather service expects heavy snowfall through the morning and early afternoon and will taper off in the late afternoon.

The weather service notes that conditions will likely cause hazardous travel today with snow covered roads and poor visibility. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid 20s. Winds beginning at 5 to 10 mph in the early morning will likely increase to 15 to 20 mph with gusts of 30 mph along the coast this afternoon.

Store manager Helene Ross, right, and sales manager Becky Jenkins stock snow shovels at Rommel’s ACE Hardware in Dover on Friday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

The broader hazardous weather outlook warning covers central Delaware. A strengthening area of low pressure is forecast to pass off the southeastern coast before moving out to sea later today. But it might have lingering effects.

The weather service notes that the probability for “widespread” hazardous weather remains low.

The Delaware Department of Transportation is urging motorists to use caution after winter weather moves into the state.

Transportation officials said in a statement that pre-treating the roads with salt on Tuesday and Wednesday appears to have been effective in preventing snow accumulation as of Friday.

But officials say the state’s roads and bridges might still be icy.

On Friday more than 300 Delaware Department of Transportation crew members were working to apply salt to roads and bridges and will continue as conditions warrant.

Residents can monitor road conditions remotely by viewing streaming video from any of DelDOT’s more than 100 live traffic cameras situated across the state.

The cameras can be viewed on the department’s interactive traffic map at deldot.gov, or on the DelDOT smart phone app.

When active plowing operations begin, residents can track the progress of DelDOT plows by watching the snowplow tracker, which is also available on the website or app.

Parks and recreation officials are also reminding residents and visitors that beach dunes should not be used for sledding or snowboarding.

Officials note that dunes contain fragile habitat and provide protection for the beaches and the communities that border them, and that recent storms have already caused some damage.

Except for marked crossings, dunes in Cape Henlopen and Delaware Seashore State Parks are closed year-round to pedestrian traffic and activities.

Reach staff writer Ian Gronau at igronau@newszap.com

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