Mayor Nutter, who earlier declared a snow emergency beginning at 8 p.m. tonight, announced that the city government will shut down tomorrow.
All nonessential employees have Thursday off, and the scheduled City Council meeting is canceled. The School District of Philadelphia and diocesan school are closed.
"This is highly unusual weather," said Nutter, noting that the 43.4 inches of snow recorded this winter is almost double what a normal accumulation would be at this point in the year.
If the storm beginning tonight drops 6 inches on Philadelphia, Nutter said, it will be the fourth storm to reach that mark this year. That's a record. Another 6 inches would also push the cumulative total snowfall for the season into the city's top five of all time.