Sunday, August 30, 2015

Snow matters: Amazing era continues

Snows of yesteryear having a hard time measuring up to modern standards.

Snow matters: Amazing era continues


Officially, Tuesday’s storm is No. 15 on Philadelphia’s all-time list, and No. 10 for single-day snow.

Philadelphia’s snow records go back 130 years, but the all-time list has a distinctive modern, and 21st Century look.

Tuesday’s official storm total of 13.5 inches measured in National Park and Philadelphia International Airport ranked as the 15th biggest snowfall in the period of record.

Of the top 15, six of them have occurred since 2003, and the 30.7 inches of Jan. 7-8, 1996, holds the all-time title.

As Peter Mucha on has pointed out, different areas of the region would have a different top 10 or 15 list.

Here we’re confining our list to the official totals, which, however flawed, have been subject to review and quality controls.

Unquestionably, this has been an extraordinary era for snow in the Philadelphia region. As we’ve mentioned, between Feb. 7, 1967, and Jan. 20, 1978, Philadelphia didn’t have a single snowfall of 7 inches or more.

Here are the top 15 official snowfalls in Philadelphia. One footnote: For the highest total in a single day, Tuesday’s snow ranked No. 10.

Top 15 Snows:

30.7 Jan. 7-8, 1996

28.5 Feb. 5-6, 2010

23.2 Dec. 19-20, 2009

21.3 Feb. 11-12, 1983

21.0 Dec. 25-26, 1909

19.4 April 3-4, 1915

18.9 Feb. 11-13, 1899

18.7 Feb. 16-17, 2003

16.7 Jan. 22-24, 1935

15.8 Feb. 9-10, 2010

15.7 Jan. 26-27, 2011

14.6 Dec. 11-12, 1960

14.3 Feb. 18-19, 1979

14.1 Feb. 5-6-7, 1978

13.5 Jan. 21, 2014

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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