Spring Could Bring One Last Snow to Philly

January 2016 snowstorm

Photo | Dan McQuade

Yes, it’s been unseasonably warm lately — heck, it’s been unseasonably warm all winter — but don’t say Nature doesn’t have a sense of humor: Spring starts Sunday, and it could see the arrival of one last snow.

It’s still just a possibility, but Accuweather is forecasting a cold, wet weekend: “As the storm begins to turn the corner on Sunday, a cold rain will fall in southern and eastern areas of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. The rain could change to wet snow in part of this area,” the service says, and adds: “The potential wet snow area will graze the swath from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City.” Read more »

Op-Ed: Can an App Help Fight the Scourge of Unshoveled Sidewalks?

Sidewalks around the city were blanketed in snow in the wake of Winter Storm Jonas. | Photos by @philabikes and Holly Otterbein

Some sidewalks in Philly were blanketed in snow in the wake of Winter Storm Jonas. | Photos by @philabikes and Holly Otterbein

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from guest writer Mark Headd. Headd was the Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia from 2012 to 2014.)

Unshoveled sidewalks during the winter months are a persistent problem for cities in the snow belt, including Philadelphia.

For places with significant snowfall, unshoveled sidewalks pose a challenge to public safety and mobility for those who rely on walking (or public transit), and present an especially acute problem for those who have physical impairments. Uncleared snowfall on other kinds of public infrastructure — like fire hydrants — also poses dangers for city residents and public safety workers.

This is a sometimes daunting issue for cities that government officials, community groups and civic technologists perennially struggle with. Over the past several years, a number of civic technology projects have been initiated with the goal of mitigating the problem of uncleared sidewalks and other public infrastructure in cities. Few have been widely adopted, and — if we’re being honest — the impact of these efforts on reducing the problems associated with uncleared snowfall has been minimal.

Certain aspects of the problem seems relatively straightforward, and would appear to be a pretty good fit for a properly designed civic app. But despite several different efforts, there is not yet a widely adopted civic tech solution that most people would agree has had a meaningful impact on the problem.

In many ways, unshoveled sidewalks help highlight both the potential and the limitations of civic technology. For those who care about civic tech, this issue is worth understanding more fully. Read more »

Gov. Wolf Requests Federal Disaster Money for January Snowstorm

January 2016 snowstorm

Photo | Dan McQuade

January’s snowstorm was so bad, Tom Wolf wants federal money to help recover from it.

Pennsylvania’s governor announced today he has requested federal disaster assistance for the storm, dubbed Winter Storm Jonas by the Weather Channel.

“Our numbers so far show that municipal, county and state agencies spent more than $55 million to respond to this storm,” Wolf said in a release. “In many places, it wiped out an entire year’s budget for snow response and removal, and winter isn’t over yet.” Read more »

NWS Calling for 3 to 4 Inches of Snow in Philly; More in Western ’Burbs

national-weather-service-2-9-15-430pm-940x540

While we didn’t see much snow in Philly last night or today (city officials even resumed trash service), we may not be in the clear just yet. As of 4:30 p.m., the National Weather Service was predicting 3 to 4 inches of snow in Philadelphia and anywhere from 4 to 8 inches in parts of the surrounding counties with bigger accumulations forecast in the western suburbs. A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday morning in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks counties. A winter storm warning is in effect until 6 a.m. in Delaware and Chester counties.

While the flurries intensify over the city and the suburbs, the coast is dealing with flooding. Read more »

WATCH: Cory J. Popp’s Breathtaking “Blizzard in Philadelphia”

A few weekends ago, thick blankets of snow brought Philly to a screeching halt. It shut down schools and transportation, and forced most people to stay inside. But local video producer Cory J. Popp set out to capture the city’s beauty, and how Philadelphians interacted with it as the flakes fluttered down.

“What I wanted to show was the bright side of Philly’s winter weather, what Philadelphians were doing when the snow was still falling, and how they were enjoying it,” Popp told Philly Mag. “I was surprised, but there were actually a ton of people outside despite the weather warnings, and everyone I saw was having a blast, which is really evident in the video.” Read more »

More Snow Is on the Way for the Philadelphia Area

NWS forecast - February 8th/9th - Philadelphia/Mt. Holly

Forecast via National Weather Service

We’re getting more snow.

Though the city was mostly spared from last week’s storm, another winter weather system is headed our way late tonight into tomorrow. The National Weather Service says the most likely snowfall result in Philadelphia is 4-8 inches of snow from tonight until tomorrow night.

“This may not be on the scale of last month’s blizzard, but we are treating this as a full-scale event,” Clarena Tolson, Deputy Managing Director for Infrastructure and Transportation, said in a release from the City of Philadelphia. “We want to make sure we’re out there ahead of the storm.” Tomorrow’s trash and recycling collection is canceled. The city says it does not expect to declare a snow emergency. Read more »

Tomorrow’s Morning Rush Hour Will Probably Be Snowy

Snow - forecast - feb 4th to 5th

The latest forecast from the National Weather Service.

Just after most of it was washed away, the snow is coming back.

The snow won’t be anything like the storm we got in late January, but things are going to be messy tomorrow morning. The National Weather Service predicts about 2 inches will fall on Philadelphia tomorrow, with totals higher in New Jersey. Parts of the Jersey shore could get about 4 inches of snow. Read more »

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