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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 02/17/2010

Reaching a new snow "bench" mark for Washington

By Kevin Ambrose

* Next storm chance? Full Forecast | Poll: When will the snow piles melt? *
* Grading CWG's forecast performance | Must-see photos/videos *

Benches on the Mall after the Blizzards of 2010. Photo taken Friday morning, Feb. 12, 2010.

Last month, I put together a photo post for CWG showing how Washington's recent historic snowstorms (January 1996, February 2003 and December 2009) ranked against each other in snow cover, using the Mall's benches to show the relative snow depth. After our recent back-to-back blizzards, I made another trip to the Mall to take photos and look for a new snow "bench" mark for Washington.

Keep reading to see how our recent snow compares to past historic snowstorms, and to see if we have reached a new snow "bench" mark for Washington.

Benches on the Mall after the Blizzard of 1996.

The conclusion: The snow cover this month crushes the previous snow bench marks on the Mall. The snow on the Mall this Friday was far deeper than I have ever seen in any past winter. There were few shoveled walkways on the Mall and walking between landmarks proved challenging. Despite the challenges of getting around, it was a very beautiful scene.

Benches on the Mall after the President's Day Snowstorm of 2003.

All of the photos included in this write-up were taken a couple days after the last flakes had fallen from the storms, mostly because it takes time for me to get dug out from the suburbs. The 1996 photo was taken after the three consecutive snowstorms, so it is a valid comparison to this month's photos. Previously, the 2003 snowstorm was the winner for deepest snow cover.

After the Blizzard of 2009. Photo taken Dec. 22, 2009.

Benches on the Mall after the Feb. 11-12, 2006, snowstorm. While this storm was not considered "historic" in Washington, it produced record-breaking snow in New York City.

Benches in the snow after the Blizzards of 2010. Photo taken Feb. 12, 2010.

Benches in the snow after the Blizzards of 2010. Photo taken Feb. 12, 2010.

By Kevin Ambrose  | February 17, 2010; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Photography  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tracking the region's giant snow piles
Next: PM Update: Slow warming starts tomorrow


Great stuff. Shows how remarkable this winter has been (3 blizzards/heavy snow storms)... and how significant the 2010 storms were.

Posted by: markinva2 | February 17, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow, completely covered! Amazing that you got to capture this Kevin. Can't believe you got into the Mall with all that snow. Quite a workout :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 17, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder how long we'll have to wait to see another snowstorm of this magnitude?"

Hahaha, you wrote that when? Late January? I've had enough. Enough!! Heat Miser, go beat the *** out of your ugly little brother, now!

Posted by: chunche | February 17, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

What a great set of pictures, it really shows the true volume of snow we have received recently!

Posted by: ThinkGreen | February 17, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

On and off light flurries/snow showers in Lake Ridge.

Posted by: ZmanVA | February 17, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Great pics!

Brrrr....that WNW wind is a-blowin' out here in Loudoun. No flurries seen though.

Posted by: natsncats | February 17, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Bright, glorious sunshine just popped out here in Oakton, VA. Hurray - the melting can continue! After spending several hours removing a massive ice dam from my house this morning, spring can't come soon enough for me.

Posted by: FH59312 | February 17, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

We just need 24 more inches of snow here in upper NW DC to reach 100 inches for season. We had 20 inches in the Dec 2009 storm, 27.5 inches in the Feb 5-6 storm and 15.5 inches in the Feb 9-10 storm. On Wed night Feb 10 I measured over 3 ft of snow on the ground and now we still have around 1 to 1.5 feet left. What are the chances of seeing one more storm this winter over a foot for the area. While I don't think we will get another storm as big as the other three, I think this winter has one more surprise left for the area.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 17, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Great job documenting our snow! The last bench shows a lot. clever idea.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 17, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

While this has been an extremely snowy winter, it has not been a very cold winter. I do not think DCA has recored a temp below 15 degrees all winter. DC has yet to see a night in the single digits. I know the far NW suburbs have seen some low numbers. I think the coldest day so far was the Jan 30 surprise snowstorm when temps hovered in the upper teens all day.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 17, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Dulles has record at least 3 nights with temps in single digits and several more with temps below 15.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 17, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Snow sucks.

Make it go away.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 17, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

when are the stats for this new storm going to be posted CWG? I know its far too early in the game but many people are wondering. i heard it might be a huge storm but it might turn out to be an all rain event here in DC....?

Posted by: lll1424 | February 17, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

It was a difficult trip to the Mall Friday morning. Metro was not running trains from Vienna, so they ran shuttle buses to East Falls Church. With the snow-choked roads, traffic was terrible to East Falls Church. I'm glad I made the trip, however, it was a rare site on the Mall.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | February 17, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

chunche: I really should have noted that in my write-up. On January 21, I concluded my first "bench" mark post by writing, "I wonder how long we'll have to wait to see another snowstorm of this magnitude?" I truly thought it would be years, not weeks, until I'd go back for another "bench" mark shoot. On February 12, I was back. I love this winter.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | February 17, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I love this! Great photos, and what an excellent way to convey the feel and the depth of the storms!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 17, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

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