Philadelphia weather: Schools, offices close as evening commutes slowed by ice, sleet, snow

Pedestrians brave the cold at 36th and Walnut Streets, in Philadelphia, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018.

And we thought we were going to get a break.

[Update: Icy conditions persisted into Tuesday morning’s commute. Follow our ongoing weather updates here.]

Not only has the high temperature for Monday failed to get above freezing in Philadelphia — but a winter weather advisory remained in effect for nuisance storm bringing a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow in time to mess with the evening rush hour. The precipitation began moving into the region during the early afternoon and continued into the evening.

The forecast prompted a rash of early dismissals, and the early start to the homeward-bound commute did create one problem for PennDOT, said spokesman Brad Rudoph: Salt trucks got stuck in traffic.

Here’s the latest of what you might need to know.

Morning forecast

The Tuesday morning forecast from the National Weather Service called for milder temperatures with cloudiness clearing later in the afternoon.

Until then, small ice accumulations were expected through Monday night.

“Ice will likely create hazardous conditions on area roads and walkways as the ground is very cold,” the weather service said. “The icy conditions could result in significant travel delays.”

The messy weather follows a weekend during which record-setting cold temperatures were recorded in Philadelphia and Atlantic City.


Roadway icing is a mounting concern. PennDot expected slippery conditions to persist into mid-morning Tuesday. Road crews are out treating roadways. Officials want to remind drivers that four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive do not help vehicles stop in icy conditions and that lower speeds are mandatory.

Evening commute

As of Monday evening, SEPTA Regional Rail trains were running late across the board due to icy conditions. Lines north and west of the city were most affected, but problems with equipment on Amtrak rails caused significant delays on the Trenton Line earlier in the evening. The early closure of offices in the region caused a staggered rush-hour that delayed trains, said agency spokesman Andrew Busch.

Even before the latest winter storm hits the Philadelphia region, commuters had to contend with cold weather related delays and overcrowding on SEPTA Regional Rail and PATCO trains during Monday’s morning rush. Some trains on both railroads were canceled and passengers were left at stations because they could not get on packed trains or their trains bypassed the station.

As often happens on PATCO, the main bottleneck was at the Ferry Avenue Station.


Philadelphia public schools and Archdiocesan schools in Philadelphia closed at 1 p.m. After school activities are canceled. Schools outside the city also closed or were closing early. A list can be found at NBC Philadelphia.


Philadelphia city government offices closed at 2 p.m.

Philadelphia courts closed at 2 p.m.

Delaware County Courthouse and Government Center closed at 3 p.m.

New Jersey state offices will closed at 3 p.m.

Code Blue in Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s Code Blue declaration for homeless outreach during frigid weather will remain in place until 7 a.m. Tuesday.

A warming center established at the Cione Recreation Center at 2600 Aramingo Ave. will reopen at 10 p.m. Monday to provide hot drinks, blankets, and toiletries along with outreach for mental health and drug and alcohol issues.


Camera icon Frank Kummer / Staff
PATCO passengers pack the platform at the Ferry Avenue station after a train was canceled on Monday, Jan. 8. 2018.

Check back for updates as they become available on the evening rush hour.


The National Weather Service says the wintry mix will persist in to the evening.

Camera icon National Weather Service
Expected ice accumulations.

“Ice will likely create hazardous conditions on area roads and walkways as the ground is very cold,” the weather service says. “The icy conditions could result in significant travel delays for the evening commute.”

But even before the precipitation arrived, Regional Rail and PATCO reported weather related delays and overcrowding due to the cold still gripping the region.

The messy weather follows a weekend during which record setting cold temperatures were recorded in Philadelphia and Atlantic City.

Philadelphia International Airport

Thirteen flights have been canceled into or out of Philadelphia. More than 50 flights have been delayed. Check with your airline or go to for flight status information.

Staff writers Laura McCrystal and Robert Moran contributed to this report.