Snow: The final answer to the overwhelming ‘how much’ question

Some surprises, but generally areas to the north and west did more shoveling.

We often hear from readers who ask why in the living hay is the government’s official snow-measuring station at Philadelphia International Airport?

All we can say to the complainers is, get in line.

The region’s serious weather-watchers don’t like it, meteorologists at the National Weather Service don’t like it, and in the just-expired winter some of the snow totals at the airport had to be adjusted after recounts.

Unfortunately, switching to a new observing site is more complicated than one might think. 

The government requires that during and immediately after snow events measurements be taken every six hours – at 2 a.m. EDT, 8 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m. The city’s EOM station is not a 24/7 operation.

It isn’t so easy to find reliable people and train them to government standards. Besides, snow has been measured at the airport for over 70 years, and a change would add another discontinuity to the climate record.

In any event or nonevent, we think it is safe to say that the last measurable snow of 2016-17 is history. For the record, the latest measurable snow in records dating to 1885 occurred 50 years ago, on April 27, 1967.

As a reader service, the folks at the chat board – and one that we again highly recommend, particularly when the weather is frisky – compiled snow totals for various sites throughout the region.

Tom Fulmer, who runs the board, informs that the list has been filtered, and what appears below are the most-reliable ones submitted by trained spotters or from airport observers.

We should note that observations from two sites with the bigger totals – Wayne and East Nantmeal – were taken at elevations of several hundred feet, where it’s a little cooler and snow piles more robustly.

Generally, totals north and west of the city were higher, as might be expected, but as everything else in weather, nothing is truly linear.

Here are the totals:


Bucks County

Lower Makefield, 21.8

Penndel, 17.6

Doylestown, 22.6

Middletown, 23

East Rockhill, 22.8

Chester County

Pughtown,  21.4

West Chester, 14.3

New London, 14.5

Phoenixville, 17.6

East Nantmeal, 24

Wayne, 23.8

Delaware County

Lansdowne, 15.7

Philadelphia International Airport (Tinicum), 15.0

Montgomery County

Glenside, 20.5

Graterford, 20.1

Gilbertsville, 20.6

Spring Mount, 19.7

New Jersey

Burlington County

Cinnaminson, 19.2"

Burlington Township, 19.7"

Mount Laurel, 21.5"

Tabernacle, 12.4"

Camden County

Berlin Township, 13.6"

Cape May County

Sea Isle City, 7.7"

Woodbine, 7.4"

Wildwood Crest, 9.7"

Middle Township, 8.8"

Ocean City, 6.1"

Gloucester County

Pitman, 14.3"

Franklin Township, 12"

Monroe Township, 9.5"


New Castle County

Newport, 4.8

Wilmington, 8.8

Kent County

Clayton, 6.5

Milford, 10.8

Sussex County

Seaford, 9.3

Dagsboro, 8.8

Georgetown, 10.9