Mayor Nutter is holding a press conference at this hour, announcing the beginning of a snow emergency at 8 p.m. tonight. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has declared its schools will close Thursday. Late in the press conference, he said the School District of Philadelphia had also announced it will close schools on Thursday.
“The Streets Department and Philadelphia Parking Authority are prepping their plows as we speak,” Nutter said.
He said this winter has been unusual, and appears: A normal winter brings 22 inches of snow—before tonight's nor'easter, Philadelphia had received 43.2 inches. "If we get 6 inches or more with this particular storm, it will be the first time in the city's history we've had four or more 6-inch storms in a winter season," he said. "This is highly unusual weather and weather patterns that we've been experiencing."
Six inches are expected by sunrise Thursday.
Nutter said storm recovery is expected to extend into the weekend. Thursday and Friday trash collection is suspended, but will resume on Monday—even though it's a holiday that city workers would normally get off.
"This will be a high-impact storm, not just for the city, but for the region," he said. "This is going to be a heavy, wet snow ... This is not going to be an ice storm like we had last week, but the effects could be the same."
Other municipalities in the region have said they are running short on road salt. Nutter said Philadelphia had stockpiled salt during recent, warmer winters. "We're fantastic," he said. "We have more than enough salt for this particular storm, and we continue to replenish our supplies."
He added: "We will need patience. Weather is one of the most unpredictable circumstances in life. We will get through it."