Thursday, November 26, 2015

Snow record in jeopardy

With Decembers snows, the two-season total inches past 90.

Snow record in jeopardy


Some ripening natives may recall the snowy, cold winters of 1977-78 and '78-'79, which set a snow-total standard unmatched in the 123-year period of record.

Bulked up by a succession of powerful coastal storms, the '77-'78 snows measured an official 54.9 inches at Philadelphia International Airport.

The additional 40.2 inches the following winter upped the two-season total to 95.1, the most ever for two successive winters.

You may have read that last winter's snows in Philadelphia were historic. The official single-season total, 78.7 inches, was more than had fallen during any two consecutive winters with the lone exception of those '70s over-performers.

In December, 12.7 inches was measured at the National Park/airport official tandem. (Of course, 12.4 came in the post-Christmas storm, but the 0.3 that fell on Dec. 16 may have been more memorable for anyone who tried to drive home that evening.)

The two-season figure now stands at 91.4, or a mere 3.7 inches from the record.

Rounding out the top 5 two-year snow totals were 1916-17 and 1917-1918, 78.5 inches, evenly distributed; '95-96 and '96-'97, 78.1, all but 12.8 of that in the first winter, and 1960-61 and '61-62, 77.9, 49.1 of that in '60-'61.

Snow is still a possibility this weekend, but the models continue to disagree, a leitmotif of this winter. We'll keep you apprised.


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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