A swath marked "PARALYZING" includes the Philadelphia area on a storm prediction map from AccuWeather.

With it was a news release in which meteorologist Alex Sosnowski makes the following statements:

"Plan on 'no travel' in the Virginias, central and southern Pennsylvania, the Delmarva and much of New Jersey Friday night into Saturday."

"Snowfall rates may reach 3 inches per hour."

"Storm crews may not be able to keep up."

"Accumulations have the potential to reach 2 feet in some areas."

The highest numbers apply mostly from Virginia to through far-southern Jersey, but "Over a foot of snow from Philly to DC," reads a headline at AccuWeather.com.

Meteorologist Tom Kines not only confirmed by phone that the city could get 16 inches of light powdery stuff, but said more is even possible.

"Even a 50 mile shift to the north could bring 18 to 24 inches into downtown Philly," he said.

This forecast differs substantially from this morning's forecast from the National Weather Service, which called for about six inches of snow in Philadelphia.

As of midafternoon, though, the weather service had also revamped its estimates, issuing a Winter Storm Warning that calls for 8 to 12 inches in Philadelphia, 12 to 18 in South Jersey and Northern Delaware.

A new blizzard warning for coastal counties in New Jersey and lower Delaware predicts 12 to 18 inches with potentially strong and damaging winds.

This storm, especially because of the winds, could be worse than the Dec. 19-20 storm, which dumped more than 20 inches of light snow on Philadelphia, Accu-Weather warns.

In the city, winds could be 15 to 25 m.p.h, with higher gusts, Kines said.

Blizzard condition, involving gusts of 35 miles an hour or more, are feared for Cape May, Atlantic, Ocean and eastern Burlington Counties in South Jersey, as well as Kent and Sussex Counties in Delaware.

AccuWeather's statement put it this way: "The intense snowfall combined with plunging temperatures and increasing wind are going to result in an all-out blizzard in northern and coastal areas with blowing and drifting snow."

The worst prognosis focuses on areas to the south:

"Trees and power lines could be downed in parts of Kentucky, northwestern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia and the lower Delmarva Peninsula due to wet snow and ice," states the service, based in State College, Pa.

Bottom line, apparently: Plan on staying home.

"If you travel during the storm, you will run the risk of getting stuck on the road or waiting for your flight at an airport," the service advises.

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