After experiencing the closest thing to an old-fashioned snow day in two years, the Philadelphia area may have to contend with an unfamiliar enemy Saturday — a flurry of snow that could cover some area roads on a particularly windy day. Single numbers.
This fluffy dry snow — better than 5 inches in some parts of the area, according to the National Weather Service, with 4.8 inches officially at Philadelphia International Airport — is so easy to shovel, it will show an ugly side as heavy snow falls — brisk northwest winds gusting to 30 to 35 mph.
“It’s going to put some snow on the roads,” said Alex Starman, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly.
After temperatures drop into the mid teens Saturday morning, they will reach highs in the mid 20s later During the day, the weather isn’t exactly ideal for shoveling.
In what may be just a moment in Philadelphia, Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel implored citizens not to let their nerves get the better of the Philadelphia tradition of “bailing out,” in which locals use traffic cones and folding chairs to make reservations. Shovel spaces, noting that in the past, this practice has led to some unpleasant things.
“At the end of the day, it’s a parking space. It’s not worth the fight,” he said.
This won’t be one for the Philadelphia Blizzard Hall of Fame, but it left a significant amount of snow to clear, and caused some problems.
The snow caused some problems
Some drop-in centers set up to help people experiencing homelessness during Philadelphia’s snow emergency were closed Friday, outreach workers told The Inquirer, leaving some service providers unsure where to send people in need of shelter.
» READ MORE: Philly says there’s room for homeless despite some full shelters and confusion about where to go
In a press conference later, the Philadelphia general manager Adam K insisted. Thiel insists that the city has adequate facilities available. “We definitely have homeless beds, homeless services and intake services available,” Thiel said. “We have warm beds available for anyone who needs them.”
Friday was not the best day for Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia Airport spokeswoman Heather Redfern said.
“It was pretty easy this morning, and then it snowed and things went downhill,” she said.
The snow began falling lightly before dawn, and increased in intensity by mid-morning, as did the Troubles. In all, Redfern said 393 trips Entry and exit from Philadelphia were delayed, and 50 other flights were cancelled. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered the postponement of all incoming flights until 10 p.m
She said the problems also have to do with bad weather in other cities, including Toronto and Buffalo.
Additionally, some cities in the South, like Nashville and Houston, have been dealing with severe weather all week, with much of the country experiencing a major outbreak in the Arctic. The Philly area was the most recent I tasted.
About 30 bus routes were on the route Friday night, but most services were running on or near schedule, SEPTA said.
It could have been worse, and it was
some Philadelphia residents learned they’ll have to spend another week dealing with their trash, as pickup already delayed due to the holiday will be postponed to next Friday.
But even though the area was grossly out of practice, it had clearly weathered two major snowfalls in five days without much of a shock.
PennDot, which was approaching the amount of salt it used all of last winter, when 0.3 inches fell over the entire season in Philadelphia, reported no major issues, and speed restrictions were lifted at 4 p.m., spokesman Brad Rudolph said. By the end of the day, the city announced it had treated 75% of its streets.
The overall lack of disruption likely had something to do with the fact that after days of snow warnings, there weren’t many people outside.
With winter storm warnings issued Thursday afternoon, nearly every school building was closed, with districts opting for virtual learning or deciding to let children play in the snow.
»Read more: Why did some kids around Philadelphia have snow days, while others logged on for lessons?
Among those who decided to brave the elements were people who attended a Philadelphia Orchestra concert Friday afternoon.
The morning concert at the Kimmel Center continued as scheduled, although the weather negatively impacted attendance. The Concert with Gershwin A fascination with the color blue Featuring the Marcus Roberts Trio, it is almost sold out.
However, an orchestra spokesman said only 761 listeners attended the 2,500-seat Verizon Hall. The orchestra’s musical and artistic director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, told the audience that, as a Canadian, he was not affected by the winter storm, but thanked those who braved it nonetheless.
“You are all the lucky ones for whom we will play our hearts out,” he said.
The coming days
With the lightness of the wind, snow was able to accumulate on the trees and find its way into the architectural details, transforming the area into a magical landscape for one day.
»Read more: Not everyone loves it, but the magic and mystery of snow remains
However, the snow is about to undergo a beauty makeover as wind speeds Saturday could reach 35 mph, said Dave Dombeck, chief meteorologist for AccuWeather Inc., creating modest drifts and blowing them back onto sidewalks and driveways.
Snow will continue to fall on the ground through the weekend, with temperatures expected to remain in the lower 30s all day Sunday.
»Read more: Why the National Weather Service’s Philly area office is located in Mount Holly
Temperatures will finally reach above freezing on Monday, then reach the 40s the rest of the week, with rain possible each day between Tuesday and Friday, the weather service said.
Now, we should get used to it.
Staff writers Beatrice Foreman, Una Godin-Smith, Maddy Hanna, Anna Urso, and Aubrey Whelan contributed to this article.