Thursday, November 26, 2015

Snow Cleanup: A few remarkable tidbits

Three of the top 10 snowstorms on record have occurred this winter.

Snow Cleanup: A few remarkable tidbits


The final official total from Philadelphia International Airport/National Park for this storm was 15.8 inches. Philadelphia has been keeping official snow records for 126 years, and this would have been the biggest storm in 119 of them.

Three of the 10 heftiest snows on record have occurred this winter -- the 28.5 of last weekend; 23.2, of Dec. 19-20, and this one.

Knocked off the top 10 list were the 15.1 of Feb. 28-March 1, 1941, and the 14.6 of Dec. 11-12, 1960.

The seasonal total now stands at 72.1, a hefty snowfall's worth ahead of the old champ, 1995-96, at 65.5.

Snow record-keeping began with the winter of 1884-85. Measuring systems over the years have been inconsistent and stations have moved.

These days, the official measurements are being taken by an observer at National Park, Gloucester County, directly across from the airport, since the airport is a tough place to measure for a variety of reasons.

Notice that this time around, the airport totals were actually on the low side. Accumulations typically ranged from 18 inches to 2 feet in the Pennsylvania suburbs, with East Nantmeal reporting 26.8. In the nearby Jersey locations, the ranges were 12 to 17.

The Jersey totals were held down by the stubborn rain in the morning that was slower to change back to snow than it was west of the Delaware, and that probably had an effect on the Philadelphia official total. The Somerton spotter weighed in with 20.

In any event, this has been an historic season, and with this much snow, what's the difference between a few inches?

Here are the snow reports.


Inquirer Weather Columnist
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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.

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