Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Snow: Better never than late?

Winter is on the run, but the snow season isn't necessarily over.

Snow: Better never than late?

In March, the sun's wattage turns the daytime blacktop into a hot plate. If snow makes it through the atmosphere, usually it quickly melts and commutes to the next phase of the water cycle.

While the snow usually doesn't stick around very long, it has been known to survive landings and accumulate robustly in March and April.

The average snowfall for the two months is around 3.5 inches in Philadelphia, but back in 1915, close to 28 inches fell after March 1, including a mega-storm of 19.4 inches on April 4-5, worthy of the winter of 2009-10.

In the period of record, dating to the winter of 1884-85, 11 storms that have occurred after March 1 left an official 6 inches or more in Philadelphia, including one just last year, which you may have forgotten.

Here is the list:

April 4-5, 1915, 19.4

March 11-12, 1993, 12.0

March 12, 1888, 10.5

March 1-2, 2009, 9.0

March 18-19, 1956, 8.7

March 5-7, 1915, 8.2

March 3-4, 1960, 8.2

March 10-11, 1907, 7.2

March 9, 1976, 6.9

March 3, 1978, 6.5





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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