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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Storm forecast adds sleet, ice and stronger winds 

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File photo of snowy downtown Wilmington
File photo by Khairil A. Junos of a snowy downtown Wilmington.

Sleet, ice and stronger winds have been added to the New Castle County forecast for Wednesday’s storm, which is expected to arrive a bit later, the National Weather Service said in a winter storm watch today.

“Heavy mixed precipitation possible. Total snow accumulations in excess of 5 inches are possible, and ice accumulations of a light glaze are possible,” the government agency said today for northern Delaware and parts of New Jersey. “Winds could gust as high as 40 mph.”

The watch covers 10 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday, three hours later than before.

In Kent and Sussex counties, there’s a coastal flood watch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. The weather service gives a 100% chance of rain and snow downstate on Wednesday and Wednesday night, with an accumulation of up to 3 inches.

 

The National Weather Service forecast for New Castle County calls for a 90% chance of rain and snow on Wednesday, with a high of 37 and northeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

The brunt of the storm is expected Wednesday night, with “rain, snow and sleet, becoming all snow after 2 a.m. Low around 29. Blustery, with a northeast wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.”

AccuWeather generally agreed with that forecast, with worse news for the region: “Biggest snow, ice storm in years set to wallop eastern US.” It’s predicting up to 30 inches of snow in a storm hitting 17 states and also the likelihood of power outages from wet snow (localized, its map for Delaware shows).

The Weather Channel is predicting an 80% chance of precipitation (snow, rain, freezing rain) on Wednesday, with an accumulation of 3 to 5 inches. Its Wednesday evening forecast calls for rain, followed by that wintry mix, with an accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. It’s calling for winds of only 20 to 30 mph. 

Whatever happens will soon be gone. It’ll be mostly sunny with a high near 26 on Friday.

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Seaford will be the fifth seed in the state tournament, and Smyrna is the 6th seed.

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