Saturday, December 27, 2014

Snow total makes Top 10 for city (not area)

Tuesday’s snowfall of 13.5 inches, as measured at Philadelphia International Airport, just makes the Top 10 list for one-day totals in Philadelphia.

Snow total makes Top 10 for city (not area)

Charlie Zazzerea clears the area around his vehicle in Claymont, Delaware after one of the region´s deepest recorded snowfalls in January 2009. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer )
Charlie Zazzerea clears the area around his vehicle in Claymont, Delaware after one of the region's deepest recorded snowfalls in January 2009. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer )

Tuesday’s snowfall of 13.5 inches, as measured at Philadelphia International Airport, just makes the Top 10 list for one-day totals in Philadelphia.

But it’s not the 10th deepest accumulation to hit the area.

As common sense tells us, snowfall varies greatly, with those western and northern suburbs often getting more.

Indeed, add in official measurements just at West Chester and Coatesville, and the list changes dramatically. Tuesday’s storm doesn’t make the Top 15, and even falls short if the highest observed suburban total of 14.8 inches at Brookhaven, Delaware County, is counted.

(Wondering what happens with two-day totals? See: "Top 10 Snowfalls in Philadelphia History.")

Here are two lists, then. Note that in the first list, four of the storms happened in the last five years.

Highest One-Day Snows, Philadelphia

1. 27.6 inches, Jan. 7, 1996.
2. 22.5 inches, Dec. 19, 2009.
3. 21.9 inches, Feb. 6, 2010.
4. 21.1 inches, Feb. 11, 1983.
5. 19.0 inches, April 3, 1915.
6. 16.0 inches, Feb. 16, 2003.
7. 15.5 inches, Dec. 26, 1909.
8. 14.2 inches, Jan. 26, 2011.
9. 13.9 inches, Feb. 19, 1979.
10. 13.5 inches, Jan. 21, 2014.

Highest One-Day Snows, 3 Area Locations

Based on measurements for Philadelphia, West Chester and Coatesville.

1. 27.6 inches, Jan. 7, 1996, Philadelphia.
2. 23.0 inches, March 20, 1958, West Chester.
3. 22.5 inches, Dec. 19, 2009, Philadelphia.
4. 21.9 inches, Feb. 6, 2010, Philadelphia.
5. 21.9 inches, Feb. 23, 1987, Coatesville.
6. 21.5 inches, Dec. 25, 1966, West Chester.
7. 21.1, Feb. 11, 1983, Philadelphia.
8. 20.9 inches, April 8, 1895, West Chester.
9. 19.9 inches, Feb. 17, 2003, West Chester. (16.0 inches noted for Feb. 16 Philadelphia)
10. 19.0 inches, April 3, 1915, Philadelphia.
11. 17.0 inches, Feb. 16, 1958, West Chester,
12. 17.0, inches, Feb. 17, 1900, West Chester.
13. 16.1 inches, Feb. 12, 2006, West Chester.
14. 15.5 inches, Dec. 26, 1909, Philadelphia.
15. 15.2 inches, Feb. 13, 1992, Coatesville.
16. 14.2 inches, Jan. 26, 2011, Philadelphia.
17. 13.9 inches, Feb. 19, 1979, Philadelphia.
18. 13.5 inches, Jan 21, 2014, Philadelphia. (Unofficial area high: 14.8 inches in Brookhaven)

NOTE: Adding more locations would add more storms. Wilmington, for example, had snowfalls of 20 inches on Jan. 16, 1907, and 15 inches on Jan.23, 1935 and Jan. 30 1907.

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

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