1997 SE PA: most of the snow actually fell on 3/31 with some lingering into the 4/1 early am, rain changed to snow the morning of 3/31 & fell heavily during the afternoon & early evening.
Locally in Lower Bucks County very elevation dependent, less than 4" at 25' along the river in Levittown to 10" at my place 250' in Feasterville with upwards of 12" in neighboring Southampton. Backside / wrap around snows rarely produce locally, this one did.
here's the narrative from the storm events database:
A late season snowstorm dropped some of the heaviest snow of all winter across Eastern Pennsylvania from the morning of March 31st into the morning of April 1st. The low pressure system responsible for this looked rather innocuous on March 30th as it moved with its associated cold front through the Midwest. Temperatures that day (Easter Sunday) warmed into the 50s and 60s across the area. But as the low intensified off the New Jersey Coast on the 31st, it pulled down colder air. The heavy precipitation it created also cooled the atmosphere and changed the rain over to snow. The rain changed to snow close to dawn across the Poconos. The changeover progressed southeast reaching the Lehigh Valley around 9 a.m. EST and Philadelphia close to noon EST. Bands of heavier snow moved through the Middle Atlantic States and caused wide variations in accumulations that were both location (underneath these bands) and elevation dependent.
The Poconos and Western Chester County were hit the hardest. The combination of the heavy wet snow and strong gusty winds pulled down trees and power lines and caused blowing and drifting of the snow. It also caused major traffic accidents. The State of Pennsylvania declared a disaster emergency in Carbon, Chester and Monroe Counties. Interstates 80 and 380 were closed for up to 20 hours on March 31st and April 1st. The National Guard sent humvees into the area to rescue stranded motorists. In Monroe County, about 1,300 motorists spent the night of March 31st in shelters after traffic accidents and heavy snow forced the closure of Interstates 80 and 380. While the rain changed to snow early in the day, the problems started with the heavier snow during the afternoon. Over 250 accidents occurred. Near white-out conditions were reported between 8 p.m. EST on the 31st and 230 a.m. EST on the 1st. It was estimated nearly 3,000 vehicles were stuck on roadways. The heavy wet snow and strong winds also knocked down trees and power lines cutting off power to about 5,000 homes in the Poconos. Accumulations included 23 inches in Mount Pocono, 18 inches in Blakeslee, 17 inches in Long Pond and 9 inches in Lehighton. No serious injuries were reported.
In Chester County, over 300 persons took shelter overnight in a firehouse under construction in the western part of the county. The heavy snow contributed to two traffic fatalities within the county. At 1230 p.m. EST an 18-year-old woman passenger was killed in East Nottingham when the vehicle she was in skidded and struck a pole. At 6 p.m. EST a 45-year-old male was killed in West Whiteland Township when his vehicle was struck by a delivery truck. In all, the county reported about 300 traffic accidents and nearly the same number of downed trees, wires, traffic lights and abandoned cars. Dozens of vehicles were abandoned between East Nottingham and Avondale. Fifteen tractor trailers were disabled on Pennsylvania State Route 41 alone. All or parts of Pennsylvania State Routes 10 and 41 and U.S. Routes 30 and 202 were closed in the county. The Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) estimated 15,000 homes lost power in the county. Accumulations included 11 inches in Coatesville, 9 inches in Downingtown and 4 inches in Honey Brook.
This storm featured bands of heavier snow. No place was this more apparent than in Berks County where accumulations ranged from a trace in western parts of the county to 10 inches in eastern parts of the county in Greenwich, Ruscombmanor and Union Townships. Interstate 78 was closed overnight between exits 12 (Greenwich Township) and 13 (New Smithville in Lehigh County) because of accidents and blowing snow. The eastbound lanes were backed up for 10 miles. The Pennsylvania Office of Emergency Management dispatched the Red Cross to help stranded motorists with food and drinks between exits 8 and 14 on Interstate 78. The Berks County Communication Center responded to over 50 serious accidents throughout the county between 3 and 9 p.m. EST. The most serious one (4 injuries) was a jackknifed tractor trailer that was rammed by a car and then a moving van on Interstate 78 in Windsor Township. GPU reported 2,500 homes lost power in the county, nearly all in Muhlenberg Township after a large tree came crashing down. In addition to Interstate 78, numerous accidents and road closures occurred on Pennsylvania State Routes 401, 422, 568 and 625.
In the Lehigh Valley, northern parts of Northampton County were hit the hardest. The most problems were reported in Bushkill and Moore Townships. Accidents and/or downed trees shut down sections of Pennsylvania State Routes 33, 191, 248, 512 and 611. Forty motorists were stranded on Airport Road, their vehicles were unable to get up the hill just south of Pennsylvania State Route 329. At the Lehigh Valley International Airport, 4.4 inches of snow accumulated.
Elsewhere around the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area, rush hour was called a nightmare in Bucks County. The southbound side of Interstate 95 was shut down for an hour because of a multi-vehicle accident. Pennsylvania State Route 412 was also closed because of accidents. In Montgomery County, numerous accidents were reported in Upper Pottsgrove, Worcester, Lower Pottsgrove and Lower Providence Townships. In addition, 11,000 PECO homes lost power. About 65,000 homes and businesses throughout the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Area lost power because of the combination of the heavy wet snow and strong winds. Within Philadelphia, there were over 200 trees that were damaged because of this combination. Accumulations included 12 inches in Furlong, 11 inches in Sellersville and Palm, 10 inches in Green Lane, 9 inches in Neshaminy Falls, 8 inches in Pottstown and Perkasie, 5 inches in Levittown, 3.9 inches at the Philadelphia International Airport and 3 inches at Valley Forge.
While the snow was over by daybreak on April 1st, strong gusty winds persisted throughout the daylight hours hampering utility and road crew work. The strongest wind gusts averaged around 45 mph throughout the region.
pics from Churchville, PA