Monday, May 25, 2015

Snow, record falling

With at least 6 inches all but a certainty, another snow record in the cross-hairs.

Snow, record falling

Philadelphia has one of the nation’s deepest archives of weather data, with snow records dating to 1884.

By our count, only in six winters has Philadelphia recorded three snowfalls of 6 inches or better officially.

Given the rather robust start to today’s snow, we have to believe that the winter of 2013-14 is about to become No. 7.

To recap, an official 8.6 inches fell on Dec. 8, and 8.2 on Jan. 2-3, the earliest recorded date for two 6-plus storms in a winter.

More coverage
Bolaris: Winter drops a bombogenesis
Christie touts 'final leg of our journey'
Snow emergency issued; city schools closed Wed.

Never have three snows of a half-foot or greater fallen before Feb. 1 in Philadelphia, but it looks like that’s about to change.

The old standard was the memorable winter of 1960-61, when the hat trick was accomplished by Feb. 4. This winter already has set a record for the earliest date for two 6-plus storms.

The latest thinking is that this one will top out in the 8 to 12 range, with the worst of it coming later this afternoon and this evening.

The other winters that had three 6-plus snowfalls were 1898-99, 1909-10, 1957-58, 1960-61, 1977-78, and 2009-10.

Philadelphia never has had four 6-plus storms in one winter.

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

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
Also on
letter icon Newsletter