1774: 4" of snow falls in Germantown, Philadelphia


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The neighborhood of Germantown in Philadelphia sits at a higher elevation than most of the rest of the city. From 250-300 feet above sea level the temperature can average a degree or two colder than the city below. During weather situations that are borderline between rain and snow, often times much of the City of Philadelphia will have a slushy mixture of rain and snow, while only wet snow falls in Germantown and its adjacent elevated neighborhood of Chestnut Hill; sometimes depositing a couple inches of snow. On May 4, 1774 Germantown was a not part of the City of Philadelphia yet, it was a prosperous town of hundreds living in long established stone houses. Germantown was founded in 1683 and awaited its fate as the location of one of the most important battles of the Revolutionary War in 1777. But on May 4, 1774 as a strong storm surged up the Atlantic seaboard, temperatures held just near freezing, and while rain fell in the City of Philadelphia below 4” of heavy wet snow blanketed Germantown in one of the latest snowfalls on record in the region, before or since.

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