Residents and students in the TIMES NEWS coverage area may wake up to a wintry mess Wednesday due to a strong storm system that will reach the area this evening.

According to the National Weather Service, which has issued a winter weather advisory until 10 a.m. tomorrow, "a wintry mix is on the way for parts of Northeast Pennsylvania and Northern New Jersey."

The National Weather Service is calling for snow, sleet and freezing rain during the upcoming storm, which will develop in the area late this evening.

The storm is expected to begin as snow then mix with and change over to sleet and freezing rain after midnight. By morning, as temperatures begin to rise above the freezing mark, plain rain is expected.

Preliminary forecasts say a total of three to five inches of snow and a tenth of an inch of freezing precipitation is expected before the change over to plain rain occurs.

The storm should move out of the area by Wednesday afternoon, leaving mild conditions and a high near 38. Wednesday evening calls for a slight chance of snow showers, with temperatures hovering around 34, and a slight west wind between 18 and 23 mph.

When contacted early this morning to see if the schools have plans in place for the upcoming storm, Tamaqua Area School District Superintendent Carol Makuta said officials are going to wait and see what the storm brings before deciding to delay classes on Wednesday.

"We have a phone chain and have people watching the weather patterns," she said. "We will wait to see what happens."

Attempts to contact other schools in the area for comment were unsuccessful.