The western suburbs of Philadelphia seem to always get more snow than the city itself, and there is a reason for that, writes Mónica Marie Zorrilla for Billy Penn.
The snow “prefers” suburbs because Philadelphia is “hot, crowded, and low,” according to blogger and storm aficionado Dr. Glenn Schreiber. His website has become the go-to for locals looking for info ahead of severe weather.
“All of the people, the concrete, the buildings, all of that makes it slightly warmer than, say, the suburbs,” said Schreiber.
That is why snowflakes that fall in the suburbs have a better chance of sticking than in the city, where they land on concrete warmed by the flow of pedestrians.
Elevation is another factor, states Don Barber, geology professor at Bryn Mawr College. The air that hits the northwest areas of Center City, which are further above sea level, cools quickly, forcing it to release moisture.
“As one goes higher in the atmosphere,” said Barber, “temperatures are cooler. Just as warm air can hold more moisture, cool air holds less moisture.”
Read more about the snowfall differences at Billy Penn by clicking here.