A History of Snow Storms on the Main Line

Reflect on past blizzards in preparation for impending storm Jonas.

Dreams of a white Christmas failed to come true this year and Pennsylvanians found themselves waiting longer than usual for the first major snowfall. 

Historically, the Main Line’s month for record-breaking snowstorms has been February. In February of 1961, 12 inches of snow were accompanied by 40 mile-per-hour winds. Blizzards in February of 1983, 2003 and 2010 each averaged 24 inches of snow in surrounding counties. 2015’s biggest storm, Ultima, arrived in early March, delivering between nine and 10 inches of snow across the greater Philadelphia area.

Many Main Liners, though, likely remember the blizzard of 1996 as one of the worst snowstorms in recent memory. That storm deposited 30.7 inches of snow on the greater Philadelphia region in less than 24 hours, shutting down communities and stranding travelers. The entire east coast was buried, with Philadelphia recording the most precipitation of any major city. The blizzard caused widespread power outages and approximately three billion dollars worth of damage across the country.

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Have a movie day

Assuming the storm doesn’t cause power outages, marathon a few of your favorite flicks, or binge-watch the first season of that show you never have the time to watch. Check out New Girl for a good laugh, or House of Cards, both of which have new seasons coming out on Netflix. For a younger viewing audience, Netflix just added new seasons of Dreamworks Animations’ Dragons: Race to the Edge.

Read a book

Whether the power goes out or not, dig into a stack of books and sip on hot chocolate for the ultimate indoor activity.

Family game day

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Bring out a stack of board games and have a friendly family rivalry indoors.

Go sledding

Embrace the freshly fallen power and head outside for the ultimate snow day tradition. If your backyard doesn’t have the altitude for a good sledding hill, head to Odorisio Park in Wayne or Tyler State Park in Newtown—as long as the roads are safe.

Build a snowman

Build the best snowman in the neighborhood and dress him up in an old scarf and pair of gloves.

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Indulge in snacks

Only one thing will thaw frozen fingers and toes after an afternoon of sledding and snowmen: hot chocolate. Stick with the theme for breakfast, lunch and dinner with warm winter eats, like hearty stews and soups. Lots of fun snacks and recipes even include snow in the ingredient list! Grab a chunk of the snow bank outside your door and experiment with maple syrup candy or snow ice cream.

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!