Snow: Fluff fest

Livia Saba gets pounded with a snowball from her husband, Roberto Saba, as they play in the snow in Rittenhouse Square. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)

On average around here, a melted inch of snow yields about 0.11 inches of liquid, or a typical snow-to-water ratio of 11:1.

The final total for the Jan. 7-8, 1996, snowstorm was 30.7 inches. The final precipitation total was 1.55, a 20:1 ratio that raised eyebrows.

It took a federal investigation to conclude finally that the 30.7 was legitimate.

But the ratios for the snow that fell this afternoon and evening look to be almost unbelievable, an indication that the atmosphere was frigid from top to bottom.

Officially, 0.07 inches of precipitation was reported at Philadelphia International Airport. Thus, the 1.5 inches of snow would represent a 21.5-to-1 ratio.

Pottstown, based on the hourly observations, somehow squeezed 2.5 inches from 0.05 of melted precipitation. That would convert to a 50:1 ratio.

Montgomery County spotters weighed in with the highest snow totals, with 3.2 inches in King of Prussia, and 3 in Wynnewood.

Incidentally, the 1.5 at the airport ranks as the biggest snow of the season, inching out Monday's 1.4.

The seasonal total stands at 4.0, matching the total for the entire 2011-12 season.

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