Snow: Wait goes on ... and on

In our story in today's Inquirer, we took note of the snow drought and attempted to place it some perspective.

A touch of snow is possible at the Shore this evening, and after a soaking mid-week rain, the region will undergo a significant cool-down through the hoilday weekend.

But the prospect of any signicant snow in the near future is all but non-existent, and the longer-term outlooks call for temperatures to warm up a bit next week.

Looking farther ahead, the Commodity Weather Group, in Washington, issued a prelminiary outlook for February that call for above-normal temperatures in our region.

So far, the atmospheric blocking patterns that drove cold air into the East the previous two winters has failed to materialize.

As we've noted, Philadelphia has experienced several winters that passed peacefully without much in the way of snow, or even a single cold snap.

Of course, that doesn't mean it will happen this season: Late doesn't necessarily mean never. This official 0.5 inches so far in Philadelphia already is ahead of two other noteworthy seasons, 1999-00 and 1965-66.

In the first instance, no measureable snow fell in Philadelphia until Jan. 20, but the season finished at a near-normal 21 inches.

As for 1965-66, the first official snow wasn't recorded until Jan. 23, that that season's total ended up at 27.4.

And the winter of 2011-12 already is half-inch better than the total for 1972-73.