For September snow cover across North America reached its largest areal extent in the period of satellite observations, dating to 1966, according to the Rutgers University snow laboratory.
For the entire Northern Hemisphere, it was No. 3 on the list.
Whether that means anything for the winter of 2014-15 in Philadelphia or anywhere else is a matter of conjecture.
As we've observed, Judah Cohen, scientist at AER Inc., has shown some promising results in correlating October snow cover in Siberia with winter in the United States.
But Dave Robinson, the Rutgers professor who is the keeper of the snow lab, said that no one has tried to correlate September snow in the Northern Hemisphere with what happens in the subsequent winter.
At least tried seriously.
We did look at some of the notable snow winters – in both directions – and matched them with the September snow cover in the hemisphere.
The results were emphatically muddled. September 2009, which preceded the snowiest winter on record in Philadelphia, placed a respectable No. 9 on the snow-cover list.
Snow lovers, however, might want to skip this next sentence. No. 1 for Northern Hemisphere snow cover in September is 1972.
The winter that followed was the only one in which no measurable snow was recorded officially in Philadelphia.