Philadelphia's Snowiest Winters And Biggest Snowfalls
Table of Contents
This website lists Philadelphia's snowiest winters (those with more than 35" of snow) and the biggest snowfalls (ten inches or more) on the official record which began in 1884 for snow.
The biggest storms are listed in two places. Some are listed in the list of the snowiest winters if they occurred in one of these winters; all are listed on the Snowfalls of Ten Inches or More in Philadelphia, PA page. Notes and/or web links are included for some of these storms.
Winter snowfall is extremely variable in Philadelphia, even over just a few seasons. For example, we had 78.7" of snow in 2009-10 (the most in official records going back to 1884), but just 4.0" in 2011-12!! The normal (average) seasonal snowfall in Philadelphia is around 22"; however, the range (officially) is from a "trace" (not enough to be measured) to 78.7" in 2009-10!! Additionally, snowfall is variable across the area both seasonally and in single storms. Usually, areas to the north and west of Philadelphia get the most snow in both categories; however, there are times when the pattern is reversed and snowfall is greater to the south and east.
Seasonal snowfall is generally measured from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. In Philadelphia, October through April is considered the "snow season"; however, traces have been recorded officially in early May on several occasions, and there is documentation of measurable snow in early May in Colonial Times as well as in 1803 (if one scrolls up the page in the link to May 4 from May 8, there is a mention of snow in Philadelphia in 1812). The What If Measurable Snow in May Happened Again in Philadelphia? page contains a photo showing what a measurable snowfall in early May might look like.
The earliest official snow sighting is a trace on October 9, 1895, with the earliest measurable official snowfall occurring on October 10, 1979 (2.1"). Slightly earlier snowfalls in October were reported in Colonial Times. The latest official recorded snow event was a trace on May 8, 1898, with the latest official measurable snowfall occurring on April 27, 1967 (0.1").
The list of Greatest seasonal snowfalls and associated ten inch or more storms are here.
Storms of Ten Inches or More
The list of ALL storms of ten inches or more along with links and/or notes is here.
White Christmas Information
White Christmas Information is here.
Somesnow videos can be found here.
What If Measurable Snow in May Happened Again in Philadelphia?
Speculation about what measurable snow in early May might be and look like.
Photo below shows snow in Center City Philadelphia at night: