Safe bet: No more snow this winter?

Ethan High gets a taste of the winter storm dubbed Rocky on Tuesday, Feb. 26, in St. Joseph, Mo. (Matt Reid / St. Joseph News-Press)
Ethan High gets a taste of the winter storm dubbed Rocky on Tuesday, Feb. 26, in St. Joseph, Mo. (Matt Reid / St. Joseph News-Press)
Posted: February 28, 2013

It's possible - fingers crossed - the worst is over for Philadelphia this winter.

It's a swing and a miss for winter storm Rocky - as named by the Weather Channel - which is heading toward New England after dumping lots of snow across the Midwest.

Although the Poconos got a bit icy and dicey this morning, Philly saw only rain.

February ends Thursday, and the National Weather Service forecast for the next week shows not a sign of flurries, flakes, slush or sleet for Philadelphia.

Rain is possible at times into Thursday night, as highs gradually decline from the mid 50s today to the high 30s Saturday, when lows could again fall into the 20s.

Wait, what's this? The extended 10-day forecast at weather.com mentions a chance of rain/snow showers on March 7.

Previous March snowstorms suddenly come to mind. 2010: Three inches measured at Philly International on March 15. 2009: 8.3 inches on March 3. 2007: Three inches of mostly sleet on March 16.

In 2004, one to eight inches of snow fell around the area on March 19 - just one day before the official start of spring.

But the forecast for a week from tomorrow shows a high of 47 and a low just flirting with freezing, suggesting the event is likely to wind up being mostly rain.

Indeed, rain is the only precipitation that AccuWeather.com predicts for March 7 - or for the entire month of March.

That's taking forecasting a bit too far - suggesting afternoon thunderstorms on St. Patrick's Day, for example.

To keep it all in perspective, about eight times a decade, March will see a storm drop an inch or more of snow. Perhaps surprisingly, January and February each average only about two snowfalls a year that equal or exceed an inch in Philadelphia.

Last year was an extreme, when Feb. 11 was the final date the airport saw even a tenth of an inch of snow.

This year, though, could prove similar, since the 0.2 inches on Feb. 13 could wind up being the final measurable tally for 2013. The 1.4 inches on Feb. 9 was the only snowfall in the city to exceed an inch this winter, although several storms dumped more white stuff in suburban counties, especially to the north.

For more on the forecast, go to www.philly.com/weather.


Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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