Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Snow: December in top 10

At just over 11 inches, December already among snowiest even in Philly.

Snow: December in top 10

It’s barely halftime for December, and the astronomical winter doesn’t arrive until Saturday.

But with snow in the forecast for tomorrow, this month has a chance to inch up further in the all-time December rankings in Philadelphia.

With Saturday’s 0.3 inches measured at National Park, Gloucester County (the official station), the monthly total inched up to 11.1, claiming ninth place among snowy Decembers in records that date to 1884.

We’re not sure what it all means, if anything, but curiously four of the top 10 have occurred since 2000.

Yes, it is a rarity to see the Eagles play a home game in the falling snow, game, let alone have snow falling in an Army-Navy game in Philly. We’re not sure that’s ever happened in the same season.

As we noted before, we are far from the typical snow season around here, and this is the first time that Philadelphia has had three measureable snowfalls before Dec. 15 since 1995.

Looking at the snowiest December list, the trends aren’t encouraging for snow-haters.

Obviously, we don’t know about this winter, but of the nine years, snowfall was well-above normal  from Jan. 1 on in five of them; in the ballpark of normality in two, and well below in two of them.

The December “normal” is 3.5; the normal for Jan. 1 onward is about 17. In our nine winters, the post Jan. 1 average came in at 23.1. The season totals were just over 40; the average is about 22.

Here is the list with the season; the December total, and what fell the rest of that winter season.

2009

24.10

54.60

1909

22.40

11.90

1904

18.90

24.90

1966

18.80

25.50

1960

17.50

31.60

1945

13.90

4.60

2010

12.70

25.10

1910

12.50

16.00

2013

11.10


2000

10.50

15.60

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

Reach Tony at twood@phillynews.com.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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