Early blast of winter causes messy Thursday commute

Snow blanketed our area Thursday, then came the sleet and icy rain.

Winter is still five weeks away on the calendar. But this wintry blast in fall made for a messy commute home.

It didn't matter where you went across our area, you could not escape it. And it stuck around a bit longer than expected. Everyone had a surprise outside their window.

No one expected to be dealing with this so soon in the fall. In fact, FOX 29 Meteorologist Scott Williams said it's the first time in 10 years that Philadelphia has recorded measurable snowfall in November.

It's not a night to be outside if you don't have to be. Traffic volumes were incredibly heavy, and all of it was going slowly.

FOX 29's Mike Masco reported on the traffic situation during the evening rush hour. He showed the Schuylkill Expressway was filling with water, as fallen leaves and slushy roads helped pond water on the highway. A plow truck tried to come by and push the water at one point.

Traffic meters were showing nearly two-hour commutes on I-76 between I-676 to I-476!

Up towards the north, there were lots of problems on Interstate 78. Our traffic cameras showed PennDOT dropping a plow after dark to try and help get things cleared up. There were jackknifed tractor-trailers that needed to get towed away, as well as disabled cars.

There are speed restrictions on various local highways and roads, so make sure you check the signs for those.

Winds are also picking up, and heavy rain is falling in some areas to the south and east, so drive carefully! Motorists might want to consider pulling over and having some dinner to let this all kind of clear out a little bit.