First the good news: Deeper into winter, the combination of storms headed our way today might paralyze the region with nearly two feet of snow.

"If it was a little colder in the season ... you'd be looking at the potential of a big, big storm," said Jim Eberwine, meteorologist with the Mount Holly office of the National Weather Service.

Instead, the Philadelphia area will see a little snow tonight followed by a lot of rain, while the Lehigh Valley could see several inches of snow and sleet, followed by freezing rain and rain.

As a result, commuters throughout the region are likely to face a mess tomorrow morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Two inches of rain could fall overnight in counties on both sides of the Delaware River, from Wilmington to Trenton.

"We'll get some downpours, especially in that period from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m.," Eberwine said.

So low-lying streets and highways might be flooded by rush hour tomorrow morning, he said.

Temperatures should remain above freezing, however, so ice should not be a problem.

Later tomorrow, increasing winds could pose a new threat: When the ground is soaked, trees topple more easily, possibly causing power outages.

The water table is already high. "It's so wet out there, if you see a drizzle, you see a puddle," Eberwine said.

Tonight's concerns about snow and sleet are for areas north of Bucks County, he said.

"They're going to get the whole package up there," he said.

"Two to four inches of snow should fall with up to a tenth of an inch of freezing rain possible before the wintry precipitation changes to plain rain," according to a winter weather advisory in effect through 7 a.m. tomorrow.

If the storm shifts or lingers, it's possible Bucks County might get a good dose of that wintry mix, and the Lehigh Valley could get more, Eberwine said.

While southeastern Pennsylvania could see some snow late tonight before the changeover to rain, most of South Jersey should just see rain.

Thursday and Friday could see overnight lows in the mid-20s.

For more on the forecast, go to http://go.philly.com/weather. Enter a zip code or town name to change the forecast location.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.