Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tenth Anniversary Of Second President's Day Storm

If you lived in Philadelphia, you were digging out from 12 to 25 inches of snow from the Second President's Day snowstorm, also affectionately known in snowlover circles as PD2 or PD II.   The city's 18.7" total from Sunday into Monday was the city's 6th largest snowfall at the time, now dropped to 8th thanks to two snowstorms in the Great Winter of 2009-10 kicking this storm down a notch each respectively.  The city itself picked up between 18 and 24.5" of snow, depending on location.

This was a snowfall that was relatively tough to measure as winds increased from the northeast, blowing at as high as 35 mph in gusts. While not technically a blizzard since the criteria wasn't met on sustained winds or for duration, the storm itself was one of the noteworthy storms because of the large amount of overrunning moisture on top of a dense arctic airmass.  Temperatures during much of the event did not climb out of the teens, with it snowing in Philadelphia on the front end of the event with temperatures at 10 degrees at midday Sunday as the storm started.

Snow continued into President's Day Monday before tapering off in the afternoon and evening hours.  Sleet and freezing rain did mix in spots during the latter portions of the event as warmer air aloft was mixing down to the surface, with sleet and freezing rain falling in some spots despite temperatures in the high teens or lower 20's during the latter phases of the event.

Radar from 1 AM President's Day -- courtesy of Ray Martin.

The Winter of 2002-2003 ended up being one of the snowier in Philadelphia's annals, with this 18.7" storm not the only snowfall in February.  Seven inches fell on February 6-7th around here, with the city ending up with 29.6" for the month, third snowiest on record.