A winter's worth of snow in 24 hours
You can call it a record setter.
With an official 23.2 inches – the second biggest snowfall ever in Philadelphia – the area incredibly has exceeded the amount of snow it ordinarily gets in an entire winter.
And winter is still 24 hours away.
It was far and away the biggest December storm – surpassing the 21.0 inches of Dec. 25-26 in 1909 – and second all-time only to the 30.7 of Jan. 6-8, 1996. On average, the city gets about 20 inches a season at the official airport measuring system.
"We have pretty well assured ourselves a White Christmas," said Tony Gigi, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.
Another storm is due Christmas and it is expected to be wetter than whiter, said his colleague, Bob Wanton, but by Christmas morning plenty of snow should still be on the ground.
Other accumulation totals include 24 inches in Medford and Atco and 24 inches in Swedesboro in South Jersey; 15.4 inches in West Chester; and 11.4 inches in Newtown. It was only 5.6 inches in Allentown.
The sounds of silence that accompanied the falling snow yesterday have been replaced today by the noise of the big-dig out as residents turn to shovels and snow blowers to clear buried sidewalks and driveways.
The high will be about 30, but northwest winds of between 14 and 18 mph will make it feel even colder when you're digging out.
Crews were busy all night clearing snow at Lincoln Financial Field in an effort to get ready for today's delayed 4:15 p.m. start for the game between the Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers.
Snow from the stadium and its surrounding parking lots is being trucked to the former Naval Ship Yard.
Malls around the region -- who lost one of the busiest Christmas shopping days yesterday -- also are busy clearing snow in the hopes shoppers will return today.
Officials say major thoroughfares should be cleared by noon, but urge motorist to drive with caution or not at all, if possible. Airports up and down the East Coast have been affected by the storm and travellers should expect cancellations and delays until the airlines can resume normal service.
Mayor Nutter says the city plans to have major roads cleared so that schools will be able to open tomorrow.
Read this morning's Inquirer story about the storm here.
But he says the city is treating tomorrow like a "trash holiday." Residents with trash pickup on Monday should put their trash out on Tuesday.
Likewise, people with trash pickup on Tuesday should put their trash out Wednesday and those with Wednesday pickup should put their trash out Thursday.
Because of Christmas Day, those residents with Thursday and Friday pickups should put their trash out on Saturday.
Part of the reason for the changes is that many of the trucks used for garbage pickup are being used for snow removal.