Philadelphia Snowfall Totals & Accumulation Averages

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This page pulls together information on when, how much and how often Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has snow.

There are data and descriptions here of how many days it snows and the total amount of snowfall that Philadelphia usually gets. There are also monthly and yearly counts of the days that the city normally has heavy snowstorms and deep snow accumulated on the ground. Plus there's information on when Philadelphia can expect the first and last snowfalls of the season.

All the numbers are averages, based on climate data gathered from 1981 to 2010 at the Philadelphia International Airport.

How Often it Snows in Philadelphia

This first table lists monthly and yearly totals for amount of snow and how many days it snows at least 0.1 inches (0.25 centimetres).

Average total snowfall and days with fresh snow in Philadelphia
Days   Inches Centimetres
  4.4 January   6.5 16.5
  3.6 February   8.8 22.4
  1.8 March   2.9   7.4
  0.4 April   0.5   1.3
  0.2 November   0.3   0.8
  1.8 December   3.4   8.6
12.2 Year 22.4 56.9

These averages don't show how much Philadelphia's snowfall varies from year to year.

In December, for instance, one in four years totals over 5.9 inches of snow. Yet half the years receive less than 1.3 inches for the month.

Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 10.5 inches, while the lightest 25 percent of years get less than 1.5 inches.

Snow in February ranges from over 11.4 inches in heavy snowfall years to just an inch or less in light years.

When Philadelphia Has Its First & Last Snowfalls

Philadelphia's first snowfall of winter usually arrives in December, although for at least one in four years December gets no snow.

Timing of the season's last snowfall varies a lot from year to year in Philadelphia. The last snowfall can happen in February, March or April.

Philadelphia is normally free of snow every year from May to October.

How Many Snowstorms Philadelphia Gets

Just over half the days of snowfall in Philadelphia result in a skiff of less than an inch left on the ground. For five days a year on average, the amount of new snow totals at least an inch.

Snowstorms of over five inches a day happen on average about once a year. They can show up any time here from December to March.

Major blizzards that dump ten inches or more in one day do descend on Philadelphia, but not every year. Snowstorms this severe have appeared in the months of December, January and February.

Number of days per month and year on average in Philadelphia with a total snowfall of at least 1, 3, 5 or 10 inches
1 inch
2.5 cm
3 inches
7.6 cm
  5 inches
12.7 cm
10 inches
25.4 cm
1.6 0.6 January 0.2 0.1
1.8 0.9 February 0.4 0.1
0.7 0.4 March 0.1 0.0
0.2 0.0 April 0.0 0.0
0.2 0.0 November 0.0 0.0
0.6 0.3 December 0.2 0.1
5.1 2.2 Year 0.9 0.3

How Much Snow Normally Accumulates in Philadelphia

For about one-sixth of winter days, Philadelphia has at least an inch of snow on the ground.

Snow mostly accumulates during January and February. Typically, on one or two days in January and another one or two in February, the snow covering Philadelphia gets to five or more inches deep. For just one day a year on average, does the snow cover amount to ten inches or greater.

Average total days per month and year in Philadelphia with snow depth of at least 1, 3, 5 or 10 inches on the ground
1 inch
2.5 cm
3 inches
7.6 cm
  5 inches
12.7 cm
10 inches
25.4 cm
  5.7 2.5 January 1.5 0.2
  5.7 3.4 February 1.6 0.7
  1.4 0.5 March 0.3 0.1
  0.1 0.0 April 0.0 0.0
  0.2 0.1 November 0.0 0.0
  2.0 0.9 December 0.5 0.2
15.1 7.4 Year 3.9 1.2
Reference

National Climatic Data Center. NOAA's 1981-2010 Climate Normals.

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