By our count only nine times in the 126 years that the government has been keeping score officially have three measurable snows fallen upon Philadelphia before Dec. 15.

If the forecast stays on track – and that will remain a significant if until the last minute in all likelihood – by day's end Saturday will become the 10th time.

It hasn't happened since 1995, and those who were around will recall that those three early snowfalls were mere appetizers.

The snowstorm of the subsequent Jan. 7-8 remains the all-timer with 30.7 inches measured officially, a total that has withstood some stiff challenges in recent years.

The seasonal total, 65.3 inches, remains No. 2 on the list, after 2009-10.

For snow-lovers looking for signs of hope in the early snows, of the nine seasons with the three or more early-season snowfalls, six finished way above normal.

The average for the nine season was 34.9, compared with the overall long-term average of about 22.

For those rooting against snow, we can offer a couple of notable exceptions, including the winter of 1989-90.

That was the year of a Thanksgiving snowstorm, and a follow-up on Dec. 8. But of the 17 inches measured that winter, only 7.1 fell after Jan. 1, and both January and February were balmy.