Snow business

For snow-lovers, this winter has been about as satisfying as watching a favorite sports team go through the motions in a stunningly listless performance. (Oh, you say you've been to those games?)

So the potential for a couple of inches of snow almost qualifies as a rally.

The latest National Weather Service accumulation map now has the city and adjacent South Jersey solidly in the 2-inch zone, with the 4 zone as nearby as central Bucks County.

In the view of Henry Margusity at Accu-Weather, this may well portend a frisky February, as subtle signals of a pattern change take shape.

Mike Halpert, the long-range guru at the government's Climate Prediction Center, is more cautious, and you've probably noticed this hasn't been a banner year for the seasonal outlooks.

What we're seeing this season, says Halpert, is more in line with the winters of the not-so-recent past; the last two were the anomalies.

He has a point. Officially, Philadelphia has had 0.5 inches of snow this season.

Since snow recordkeeping began in 1885, 14 seasons saw snow of 0.5 inches or less through Jan. 20 in Philadelphia. Eight of those have occurred since 1992.