Area residents with sharp eyes will realize that today, Jan. 11, 2011, is a unique date – 1/11/11. And what better way to celebrate this once-in-a-century occasion than with snow?

Various weather authorities have issued a winter weather advisory for Carbon and surrounding counties, calling for a total accumulation of 3 to 5 inches of the fluffy white stuff. The brunt of the snow is expected to fall late this afternoon into this evening, slowing down gradually until noon on Wednesday.

"Most of the storm will occur after the rush hour commute tonight," Dave Scheibe, an observation program leader for the National Weather Service's Mount Holly, N.J. station, said. "Tomorrow morning's commute may be the worst. Drivers should expect some pretty slippery conditions."

Scheibe warns that the initial band of the storm will only drop 3 to 4 inches of the snow, with an additional 1 to 2 inches occurring overnight. Conditions should be greatly improved by Wednesday afternoon, when the storm will taper off into light snow showers and flurries.

Local emergency personnel are advising caution during the storm, particularly on the roadways. Mark Nalesnik, the emergency management coordinator for the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency urges drivers to stock their vehicles with winter weather staples: cat litter or sand (for increased traction), small shovels, warm clothing and blankets.

"Generally, people need to be safe when operating their vehicles," he said. "Heed signage and travel slowly. My best advice is to not travel at all."

Nalesnik claims that staying off the road will not only increase the safety of drivers, but also make roadway cleanup easier and more efficient for maintenance crews.

The impending storm is also set to affect Philadelphia and New York, with projected accumulations of 3 to 7 inches and 4 to 8 inches tonight, respectively.