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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 02/12/2010

Amazing mid-Atlantic snow statistics

By Jason Samenow

Baltimore: Snowiest city in the country

* Monday snow? Full Forecast & SLCB | Watch out for ice dams *
* Snowbound in suburbs | Wind chill factor | 'Best of' storm comments *
* News, traffic & storm coverage: Local home page | Get There *

Updated Saturday morning

Cory Pesaturo is the 2009 World Accordion Champion, but he's also a weather enthusiast who has assembled a collection of stunning snow statistics for the mid-Atlantic. Thanks to him for posting them on, a forum for meteorologists and weather hobbyists, and granting us permission to adapt his post (I've re-arranged some information and added a couple things) to share here. (Some of the information posted on EasternUSWx was drawn from an excellent post by Jeff Masters at wunderground...)

Washington D.C is not the only city to set a seasonal snowfall record this year. Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City have also set new records. Through today, here are the snowfall totals to date this winter, and the previous records:

Washington D.C. National Airport - 55.9
Old record: 54.4", Winter of 1898-1899

Washington D.C. Dulles Airport, VA - 72.8"
Old record: 61.9", Winter of 1995-1996

Baltimore, MD - 79.9"
Old record: 62.5", Winter of 1995-1996

Wilmington, DE - 66.7"
Old record: 55.9", Winter of 1995-1996

Philadelphia, PA - 71.6"
Old record: 65.5", Winter of 1995-1996

Atlantic City, NJ, 49.9"
Old record: 46.9", Winter of 1966-1967

Meteorologist Jeff Masters at wunderground puts these numbers in perspective:

"For comparison, the average snowfall amounts for a season for these cities ranges from 16" - 22". This winter's snowfall amounts are similar to what Anchorage, Alaska and Portland Maine typically receive (about 70")."

Incredibly, Baltimore has received more snow than any other city in the U.S. this winter through today, according to the Golden Snow Globe -- more than Syracuse, NY (75.9")!!! (Dulles Airport would be third on the list, but is excluded in favor of National Airport, which is #10).

Keep reading for more snow statistics

Remarkably, for many of the major cities in the mid-Atlantic, two or three of the biggest snows on record have occurred this season. For Baltimore and Philly, two of the top 10 fell within five days this past week.

The top 10 snowstorms on record for Washington, D.C.:

1. 28.0", Jan 27-28, 1922
2. 20.5", Feb 11-13, 1899
3. 18.7", Feb 18-19, 1979
4. 17.8" Feb 5-6, 2010 (Snowmageddon)
5. 17.1", Jan 6-8, 1996
6. 16.7", Feb 15-18, 2003
7. 16.6", Feb 11-12, 1983
8. 16.4", Dec 19-20, 2009 (Snowpocalypse)
9. 14.4", Feb 15-16, 1958
10. 14.4", Feb 7, 1936

The top 10 snowstorms on record for Baltimore:

1. 26.5", Jan 27-29, 1922
2. 24.8", Feb 5-6, 2010 (Snowmageddon)
3. 24.5", Feb 15-18, 2003
4. 22.8", Feb 11-12, 1983
5. 22.5", Jan 7-8, 1996
6. 22.0", Mar 29-30, 1942
7. 21.4", Feb 11-14, 1899
8. 21.0", Dec 19-20, 2009 (Snowpocalypse)
9. 20.0", Feb 18-19, 1979
10. 19.5", Feb 10-11, 2010 (Snoverkill Blizzard of 2010)

Top 10 snowstorms on record for Philadelphia:

1. 30.7", Jan 7-8, 1996
2. 28.5", Feb 5-6, 2010 (Snowmageddon)
3. 23.2", Dec 19-20, 2009 (Snowpocalypse)

4. 21.3", Feb 11-12, 1983
5. 21.0", Dec 25-26, 1909
6. 19.4", Apr 3-4, 1915
7. 18.9", Feb 12-14, 1899
8. 16.7", Jan 22-24, 1935
9. 15.8", Feb 10-11, 2010 (Snoverkill Blizzard of 2010)
10. 15.1", Feb 28-Mar 1, 1941

These cities will likely add to these numbers with more snow forecast for Monday.

By Jason Samenow  | February 12, 2010; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Local Climate, Snowmageddon  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Next snow chance just around the corner
Next: PM Update: Break in the action continues


Holy smokes! That's a whole lot of global warming! ;)

Posted by: Mr_Q | February 12, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I think you know better than that, Mr Q. You can get extraordinarily cold winters during periods of global warming.

Posted by: Etta- | February 12, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I think it should be noted that the official measuring spot for snow, etc. in DC was not always National Airport. It was the National Observatory for a number of years, and was somewhere else before that. (I apologize for not being able to put my finger on a cite/website for this info). The airport tends to get less snow than other places in DC (and is not even in DC), but is nonetheless the "official" place for measurement. Thus, snow totals for these storms probably beat the old records by even more.

Posted by: RJanStewart | February 12, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Cory Pesaturo Here with More Stats -

Westminster, MD
Wolfsville, MD
Frederick, MD
Jefferson, MD
Savage, MD
Elkridge, MD
Essex, MD
Westminster, MD

These Towns Got 52"-55" from the 2 Blizzards and upwards of 65"+ adding the 2 storms JUT Prior (Jan. 30th, Feb. 2nd)

Posted by: TheSnowman | February 12, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

And Also, Like Philadelphia and Baltimore, Wilmington, DE now has 3 Storms in their Top 10 from This Season!!!!

Wilmington, DE

- Biggest Snowstorm Ever from this Season
- 3 of Top 10 Snowstorms are from this Season

Musically and Snowily -

Cory Pesaturo "The Snowman"

Posted by: TheSnowman | February 12, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

This post really puts these storms in perspective. Maybe all these northeastern morons will stop yapping about how New York/New England gets these kinds of snowfalls all the time but never shuts down the schools.

Then again, probably not.

Posted by: athena2 | February 12, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Where are all the smug transplanted yankees today talking about how we can't clear snow, when it ends up we have more than they have had this winter?

Posted by: irish031 | February 12, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Dallas, TX got 12.5 inches of global warming!

Northern Florida got a little global warming too! Along with Mississippi and Georgia!

If this is global warming, I shudder to think what global cooling would look like! ;)

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | February 12, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Will this shut up all the "smug transplanted yankees", as irish031 so eloquently puts it? Probably not.

I'm a transplant from Cleveland (huge lake-effect snowfalls every winter) and I don't have any major complaints about this region's snow handling, given the circumstances.

Posted by: stuckman | February 12, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe when we get out of the snow cycle and into calmer weather, CWG could post some tutorials explaining why global warming doesn't mean the whole planet becomes a rainforest -- and why it can mean colder and more severe winters -- for the ignoramuses among us.

Not that it would do any good.

Hey Mr_Q, do you know that Vancouver is so unseasonably warm this winter they're having to truck in snow for the Winter Olympics? Or would acknowledging that put a dent in your chortling?

Posted by: mhardy1 | February 12, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The people from the northern states are not morons, but they do have snow-blowers, garages and city budgets that routinely plan for snow.

There is no use trying to compare the two regions, it gets much colder there and the snow stays around longer (no bare pavement on side streets) and here we all have to clear it away with about one shovel per household.

If you read the newspapers from cities like Detroit you will see they are very sympathetic and cannot imagine this much snow. They got 7 inches and did close schools.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Feb 2003 NOAA report states Baltimore's total for the 2003 storm was 28.2":

as does:

Another NOAA page cites an "unofficial" total 26.8" for the Feb 2003 storm:

But this page refers you a page where you can find the official data, including the first two links above.

So, I'm wondering where the 24.5" figure for 2003 came from? It is definitely inaccurate. (That 2003 storm was responsible for the B&O RR Museum roof collapse, and for train aficionados like me, it's burned in our brains.)

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 12, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Mr Q.: Enough with the global warming comments. You're smart enough to know weather does not equal climate. Andrew will have a post on this soon, and you can engage more on the issue then.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

At some point, folks who come here with a political agenda (e.g. "Mr. Q", above) are gonna get their posts deleted and their positions discredited and appropriately mocked.

The sad part is that he doesn't know that by posting so childishly, he actualliy *hurts* his cause by becoming the ignorant face of this position.

For the record, let's try again:

A storm or series of storms in the winter is not evidenciary - one way or another - of global warming or climate change. Moreover, I bet Mr. Q's weak azz is nowhere near this blog in August, when temps are in the high 90s and being a global warming denier during the heat looks stupid. (Again, having a hot day in August in and of itself has nothing to do with climate change or global warming either).


Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | February 12, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

As asked by a guy on my (packed) train this morning -- okay, who's in favor of heading up to Punxsutawney, PA and getting a nice groundhog-skin cap? ;)

This is nuts. Usually I'm not a fan (pollen allergies), but this year I can hardly wait for spring. Not sure I can take 6 more weeks of this.

Posted by: | February 12, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

CWG, thanks SO much for calling a halt to the GW comments and soon providing a space where the pro- and anti-GW folks can engage each other. While many of us are interested in GW, in politics, etc., we don't come here for those topics.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 12, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The anonymous CapitalWeatherGang wrote, "Mr Q.: Enough with the global warming comments. You're smart enough to know weather does not equal climate."

Oh, I know that. Do you?

Check the comments.

Or is weather not climate when the weather is cold and snowy, but it is climate when it is warm? According to this site, one year of warm weather in the United States is global warming.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | February 12, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The official DC reporting site from 1871 till 1941 was at the Weather Bureau headquarters at 24th and M, NW.

Posted by: HenryFPotter | February 12, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Ugg....wish IAD was on the lists...more representative of where most Washington-area residents live.

Posted by: rocotten | February 12, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

All: is Mr. Q our new Chemtrail Ken? :)

Great research, puts it all in perspective.

Posted by: curtmccormick | February 12, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The Virginia record of 124.2" in Wise, VA (1995-96) seems unlikely to fall this season. Although the single month record of 54" might be vulnerable if Loudon Co sees much more snow.

Posted by: spgass1 | February 12, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The anonymous CapitalWeatherGang wrote, "Mr Q.: Enough with the global warming comments. You're smart enough to know weather does not equal climate."

Help me out? Is the Indian Ocean Dipole weather, or climate?

Let me guess. Everthing is linked to global warming. Right?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | February 12, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The seasonal total at Dulles is 72.8, not 75". I think that number came from their incorrect release that the last storm dropped 11.5" there instead of 9.3".

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Mr Q, you are supremely annoying.

Sorry CWG, I just had to say that.

Posted by: natsncats | February 12, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@spgass1, Beckley WV, NE of Wise, VA, and at roughly the same elevation (2400 ft) has broken their season record; now at 101.4; was 101.1 ('95-'96).
Beckley record:

Don't know what the all-time WV record snowfall is. May be at Terra Alta or Pickens in '75-76.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 12, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Mr. Q -

I have always found it best to ignore trolls. They get their jollies from people replying to their tripe, and go away when no one pays any attention.

Don't feed the trolls!

Posted by: Inspector_T | February 12, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Correction to my 2:04 post. If the WV snowfall record was set in the mid-70s, it would have been in bitterly cold winter of '76-77. I know Terra Alta had nearly as much snow as Buffalo (199") that year but this may not be the all-time WV state record.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 12, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1, I like the quote from that article: “We’re officially tired of winter,” Emergency Services Director Dan Edwards said.

I spent a few minutes trying to find the WV season record. It's got to be a lot; the wikipedia page says: "Average snowfall in the Allegheny Highlands can range up to 180 inches (460 cm) per year."

Posted by: spgass1 | February 12, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey, as far as I'm concerned, the records have yet to be finished. After all, it's only February 12th!

Posted by: SWester2010 | February 12, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Im at 84 inches for the season, but in the 12 day period from Jan 30 to Feb 10, I had 54 inches dump on my head in Southern LoCo. The areas from Aldie to Stone Ridge and even South Riding took a precise MOAB from above. Shock and Awe my friends, Shock and Awe. Give me another 6 inches on Monday and we are talking 5 FEEETS of snow in about two weeks. I'm going drink something when (not if) we get to 100 inches...

Posted by: DullesARC | February 12, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I will make you a deal CWG. If Mr. Freedman will post (and leave up forever) a column where he issues a public apology to all of those poor Australian families for his using their pain and suffering during that IOD and arsonist created drought and fire as a means of promoting his belief in the catastrophic, man made, global warming hypothesis, I will never post a derogatory comment at this blog ever again. I will go switches cold and disengage.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | February 12, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

i just got in from hacking ice from my roof- well, actually I was inside the whole time-but anyway, I felt snow, not total ice with the shovel and I thought I should let you all know that I am making progress!!

Posted by: celestun100 | February 12, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, this is the first time (at least recorded??) that there is snow in all 50 states. There is a University of Oklahoma student collecting pictures from contributors online. The link is here: Kind of a fun project. What an awesome winter!!

Posted by: scienceteacher3 | February 12, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

scienceteacher 3


It probably is the 1st time there is snow in all 50 states since the ice age. (Just kidding :) )

Posted by: celestun100 | February 12, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Q, you have no bargaining power whatsoever, give it a rest. The mods can (and should) delete your posts and ban your account.

CWG is here to try to predict and explain the weather, not to advance political causes. The Internet has plenty of dark recesses where you can share your unwelcome and uninformed observations.

Posted by: SWester2010 | February 12, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

CWG or anyone who knows-

What is "normal" barometric pressure for this area? Is there such a thing?

Posted by: celestun100 | February 12, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Right! Well! Enough of that long winded thread. Moving right along...........

Great pictures of birds in the Bethesda blizzard posted by a local artist at

I spend every winter HOPING for A SNOW DAY but last night I was definitely among those HOPING for a WORK DAY! Thank heavens!! It's icy and slushy out there but I'm glad the Gov't opened. Thanks CWG for terrific commentary and updates. I just found you guys this storm and will use you from now on.

Posted by: SnowLover1 | February 12, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

He missed the President's Day (Feb. 15-18) snowstorm of 2003 in Philly. I was living there then and I don't know which is the official measurement but it was at least 18.7 inches which would make it 7th or 8th.

Posted by: wiles05 | February 12, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse


Very beautiful photographs!!!

Posted by: celestun100 | February 12, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The anonymous CapitalWeatherGang wrote, "Mr Q.: Enough with the global warming comments. You're smart enough to know weather does not equal climate."

Record breaking cold = weather or a "climate note".

A frickin foot of snow at Dallas/Fort Worth is weather.

Snow in Atlanta = weather.

A blizzard, extreme cold, and recording breaking snow in the Northeast is weather.

But an IOD and an arsonist? Now THAT is climate.

You know, it almost appears that anything that promotes the AGW hypothesis is climate. And everything else is just weather.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | February 12, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Please don't feed the troll.

If not feed, trolls usually slither away to find more gullible souls to pester.

Posted by: Inspector_T | February 12, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

@spgass1, thanks for checking re: the all-time WV snowfall record. Snowshoe, WV ski resort averages about 180", so Wiki is right (which is not always the case). So whatever the all-time WV record is, it must be, as you note, a lot.

An example of how different sources give different data:

The book "The Snow Booklet" (1996-97)lists Pickens as the snowiest WV "weather station" at 160". "Extreme Weather" (2004) has snowiest WV "place" as Terra Alta, 157.8". If I lived in either place, I wouldn't be inclined to haggle. Just to move away!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 12, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Q-- We asked you once nicely. Please stop if you wish to continue posting here. Thank you.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Ban Mr_Q... enough is enough. This is supposed to be a weather blog. I'm uninterested in the GW/CC debate, but he's made it apparent that he's going to keep going on and on and on about it. He's the definition of a zealot: He won't change his mind and (more importantly) he won't change the subject.

Posted by: gjtbiz | February 12, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse


I've been to Cleveland in winter(yes, by choice)and agree. My wife is from Erie, PA and we've made plenty of winter visits there as well. I've seen plenty of piled up snow on corners, in lots, etc in both places.

Posted by: irish031 | February 12, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

CWG, a quick note of appreciation for this fantastic site before I schlep to the store. I've been reading your blog since it first appeared, but didn't post comments until the snows began in earnest this season. There are only two other subjects -- one of which is good chocolate -- that interest me as much as snow.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 12, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Quick final post on this thread: it is currently snowing in Crestview, Florida in the state's NW panhandle. Amazing!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 12, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

jerryfloyd1: your comment "There are only two other subjects -- one of which is good chocolate -- that interest me as much as snow" just cracked me up. I'm glad you like the site. Perhaps one day we will branch off and cover the world of fine chocolates as well...

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | February 12, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@ scienceteacher3 "snow in all 50 states"

wait, what??? HAWAII???

Posted by: ChickenLady | February 12, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Hawaii has snow. After all, it has some good-sized mountains:

The Goddard Space Flight Center has some good-sized mountains of its own - they've closed off one of the back roads and piled the snow up on it to a height of 20 feet or more. Going to be interesting to see how long that sticks around.

Posted by: kevinwparker | February 12, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Just for the record, here are the top snow producers from this week's storm. These reports are from cocorahs trained observers in Maryland covering Feb 9-11. In strong wind/snow events, multiple depth readings are taken, with an average depth reported.
27.0" Towson (with 48" total, 7 am, Feb 11)
27.0" South Gate
22.0" Sykesville
21.5" Mount Airy
20.0" Thurmount (with 4' drifts reported)
19.1" Damascus
15.2" Columbia
13.5" Montgomery Village
13.3" North Laurel
13.0" Takoma Park
11.8" Wheaton-Glenmont
11.5" Silver Spring
Other nearby readings were lower, with sleet being a factor. Also, the strong wind hampered snow water equivalent readings, with many of the 4" gauges being over-topped with snow. In fact, the observer in Towson couldn't even get to the gauge as a result of severe drifting!

Posted by: mtpeaks | February 12, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@Andrew, thanks! Jerry

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 12, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Next being hinted at by model guidance..."Snopalooza" a sudden thundersnow event aoa Feb. could be reminiscent of the evening-rush thundersnow event of early March, 1984.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 12, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

CapWx - I know Mr. Q is annoying, but you do discuss climate change on this website and this thread is about this seasons snow fall statistics. To censor him because of his "ignor-ance" feeds into the belief that skeptics have no place in the debate. It would behoove you to engage him and provide a rational and scientific rebuttal to his confusion over weather versus climate.

Posted by: johnnyd2 | February 13, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

The 24.5" for 2003 is *correct* in a way. The 28.2" is the four-day total, but the NWS doesn't recognize four-day totals. The NWS considers that event to be two storms. If you remember, the snow started Friday afternoon, continued through Sunday late-morning, started again Sunday night through Monday afternoon / evening.

Posted by: tgstein5 | February 15, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

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