Wednesday's storm was a big one-two punch, with a rainy lull in-between that wound up as the ninth-largest snowfall in city history, Philadelphia officials said.
It left plenty of snow -- more than 15 inches in Philly -- to deal with Thursday.
The snow got so bad by Wednesday night that all SEPTA bus routes in the city and suburbs were temporarily suspended as many buses were stranded, many schools canceled classes for Thursday and snow emergencies were declared in most areas.
NJ Transit bus service was also temporarily suspended except for selected routes to and from Atlantic County. Check njtransit.com for more information.
Thundersnow, white-out conditions and fender benders marked the second-blast of snow Wednesday night but it all started with an unexpected snowfall in the morning.
Sudden heavy snow during the morning rush was a surprise, even to meteorologists. We woke up to probably the greatest weather surprise in the past 10 to 20 years. An area of light rain, with light sleet north and west changed to heavy snow over most of the area in just ONE HOUR.
The reason it happened is pretty complicated, but it's related to what was happening high up in the atmosphere. Small changes up there led to huge changes at the ground. And no computer models even predicted those small changes.
The long-advertised back-end of the storm blasted the area Wednesday night for hours. First it was rain changing to heavy sleet, and then heavy snow.
There were numerous reports of thundersnow as some places got 3-inches of snow in just an hour.
The back edge of the snow moved eastward across Pennsylvania in the later hours and the snow ended around 2 a.m. in Philadelphia.
But there was A LOT of snow to get rid of -- not the easy kind to shovel or plow. It's a heavy, wet snow, with a layer of ice underneath in many areas.
Please be careful with the snow removal and take your time -- many people hurt themselves trying to shovel snow like this.
We'll get another shot of snow Friday morning but it should cause little accumulation in the area with dusting in some spots.
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