Longest Freezes in Philadelphia

icy-branches
Ice-covered branches of a tree on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Exton, Pa. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

Miserable winter, no doubt. Last week's ice storm set a Peco record for winter outages, 715,000. By the time it finishes snowing Thursday, the season could rank in the Top 5 for total snowfall, as Tony Wood's "Weather or Not" blog points out. And PennDOT could set a record for salt use.

But this winter's no history-maker as far as cold is concerned.

It may seem extra-cold because of recent mild winters, but this winter could wind up as kind of average, says meteorologist Anthony Gigi of the Mount Holly office of the National Weather Service.

Indeed, the ice storm might not have happened if temperatures had been colder.

"It would have been snow," he said.

Late January's uncomfortable cold spell, with five straight days at freezing or below, wasn't close to one of the longest on record. It tied for 65th place, Gigi said.

Longest Freezing Streaks in Philadelphia

(1) 15 consecutive days, Feb. 6 to, Feb. 19, 1979
(1) 15 days, Jan. 19 to, Feb. 2, 1961
(3) 13 days, Jan. 10 to, Jan. 22, 1893
(4) 12 days, Jan. 23 to, Feb. 3, 1936
(4) 12 days, Feb. 3 to, Feb. 14, 1895
(6) 11 days, Jan. 8 to, Jan. 18, 1981
(6) 11 days, Dec. 21 to, Dec. 31, 1935
(8) 10 days, Dec. 16 to, Dec. 25, 1989
(8) 10 days, Jan. 10 to, Jan. 19, 1982
(8) 10 days, Dec. 7 to, Dec. 16, 1958
(8) 10 days, Jan. 23 to, Feb. 1, 1948
(8) 10 days, Dec. 15 to, Dec. 24, 1945
(8) 10 days, Feb. 5 to, Feb. 14, 1899

Note: The closest streak in the last decade was in 2004, with eight consecutive days of 32 degrees or below.

See more PhillyLists. Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

Continue Reading