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Snow thaw set up for this week

By MARK MARONEY

mmaroney@sungazette.com

Not counting the 2 to 3 inches of snow that fell Monday, Williamsport has seen almost 50.7 inches of snow since Dec. 1, said Charles Ross, a meteorologist with the National Weather service.

Warmer temperatures this week without rainfall are expected to thaw the snow and ice, he said. The remainder of the week is no worry for those concerned about snowmelt, Ross said.

A normal snow amount is 24 inches, making the snowfall almost 27 inches above normal, he said.

Despite the heavy snowfall amounts, they pale in comparison to the 81.3 inches that fell on the city in 1960.

It would take more gigantic events of 30 inches to approach or break the record, Ross said. It is possible because large storms have been seen in March, he said. The most snow, 60 inches, fell March 22 and 23 in 2017.

The largest 24-hour period of snow was 38 inches also in March but March 20, 1958.

The most snowfall amounts for this winter occurred in December, when the city had 24.3 inches in two days. This month more than 19 inches has fallen. Only 6.9 inches fell in January.

The winter snowfall is about as it was in 2009 when 57.3 inches fell between Dec. 1 and mid-February, and 2002 when 57.2 inches fell during a similar period.

The month has been 7 degrees below average in cold air. The average high has only reached 33 degrees and last year the average high was 43.6.

“It has been a little bit colder, but not record cold,” he said.

The coldest February was 1934. It was so frigid, the temperature was minus 11 in Philadelphia.

North America also experienced a cold wave in 1936.

This Monday is when the days start to become longer and the sun hits the snow and melts it.

“We’re only a month away from a 12-hour day — the Spring Equinox is 5:31 a.m. March 20, so we’re in the home stretch in terms of winter,” Ross said.

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