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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/ 3/2010

Is the snow season over?

By Jason Samenow

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So we've had a record-breaking 56" of snow this winter, but no more than 0.1" has fallen since February 10. More characteristic of the D.C. region, snowfall opportunities that emerged during the last two coastal storms fizzled. Snow drought, anybody?

During March, we average about 2" of snow, and last year had 6". A warm-up is forecast through the weekend, but heavy snow can fall in the middle and latter part of of the month. Most people remember the Superstorm of 1993 (March 12-13), and our biggest snow on record for the month occurred on March 29-30, 1942 (12").

So what will happen this year?

By Jason Samenow  | March 3, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Local Climate  
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Not sure if we're quite done yet. I think one more storm before the spring pattern sets in

Posted by: tengoalyrunr30 | March 3, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Snow may be done for the year, but I will hedge my bets and say we could still get a trace to one inch in some rare event. I have pictures from March 30 a few years ago where we got about an inch of snow that made all the daffodils droop over. Of course it was all gone the next day.

Posted by: rwalker66 | March 3, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse


I'm confused by your statement:

Most people remember the Superstorm of 1993 (March 12-13), and our biggest snow on record for the month occurred on March 29-30, 1942 (12").

If we got almost 2 feet on March 12-13 1993, how can 12" be our biggest snow on record for the month? Do you mean latest most snow in the month record?

Posted by: rwalker66 | March 3, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Even as a diehard snow lover, enough is enough. During the many snow drought years my operative mantra was, "nothing takes longer than waiting for snow". Now I'm feeling, nothing takes longer than waiting for spring weather.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | March 3, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I went high based on the long range GFS which has been more of a soothsayer this winter...that setup in the middle of the month looks to be a fun time for much of the East Coast. Lets see if one of those systems can verify. Im not betting against it this year. It would be very fitting to head into late March this year with a deeper snowpack that we'd prefer.

Posted by: DullesARC | March 3, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse


Just 6.6" fell at Reagan National (DCA) in the 1993 storm, though most areas got more than that (8-14"). Two foot (or more) totals were confined to the mountains.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | March 3, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse


Ah yes, I forgot the measurement was from the dreaded DCA "barely get any snow" weather station. It's a shame we use DCA for snow measuring, but it will probably never change.

Posted by: rwalker66 | March 3, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I think we're pretty much done, but it's hard to rule out another potential threat somewhere between like the 15th and 20th... I would lean toward elevation etc at this point.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 3, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah SteveT--this time of year is really tough on those waiting for spring. You start to feel spring in the air, but a lasting warmup doesn't really start until mid-April or so. I hope this year we have a hot and dry spring--am tired of all the moisture...

Posted by: steske | March 3, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wiredog | March 3, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

personally, i remember the march '93 "superstorm" as a giant bust. big big accumulations were predicted, but i remember lots of rain and sleet...

i've resigned myself to being done with snow for the season.

DCA = Darn Crummy Accumulations

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 3, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

For DC Metro.

I'm gonna say "game over" for accumulating snow. Maybe a flurry or 2, but that's it.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 3, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping the upcoming warm spell next week will get us over the hump in the snow dept. Wouldn't be surprised though to see some sort of freezing rain event later in the month. I already have been wearing my shorts in anticipation of spring! That said, anything can happen in March. I won't de-winterize my trailer until the 31st when we head to Assateague (where it snowed a couple of years ago on spring break).

Posted by: soyboy99 | March 3, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Light snow has been persistent this morning here in the Blue Ridge Mtns east of Front Royal... 1.5" and still snowing... 32.2F... Photos

Posted by: spgass1 | March 3, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm going with what we had this morning in Front Royal: hit the wipers once to clear off the snow and start driving.

Posted by: eric654 | March 3, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@wiredog - too funny!

I had friends who had to reschedule their joint BD party not once, but twice, due to snow... but they finally had the party last weekend.

Posted by: MKoehl | March 3, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

You boys looked at the 12z GFS for middle of next week? 168 hr looking a little interesting... LOL

Posted by: Registration1982 | March 3, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

spgass1, you must be higher up. I live at 600 feet SW of Front Royal.

Posted by: eric654 | March 3, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Registration1982, it looks somewhat similar to last night's non event.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 3, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

If the snow season is over, let's get into the fifties or sixties rather than having a spring full of all this raw cruddy fortysomething stuff.

I'm still holding out for up to three inches of bonus snow.

The 1993 Superstorm was a bunch of nasty rain, wind and sleet at its height down here in Arlington.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 3, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I remember the March '93 storm - in Kensington we had about 8-9" of sleet. The snowplow looked like it was plowing sand...

Posted by: csh1 | March 3, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Interesting how people around here remember the 93 superstorm. I was down in Birmingham AL at the time where they average 1 inch a year. Well, we had 13-17 inches of snow by the time it was all over...broke the record for the most snow in the month, or any month, or any year, or any decade!

With not a plow to be located within several hundred miles, and cold temps to boot, down that way, that storm is remember as simply historic in a way that likely will never ever be seen again.

Posted by: SJ43560 | March 3, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Maybe no snow, but shouldn't we being some ice one of these days? (Not that I want ice, but usually we get ice, don't we?)

Posted by: celestun100 | March 3, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

eric654, yeah I'm somewhere around ~1850 ft.

The snow machine's still cranking... 1 7/8ths inches... might need to use the tire chains tomorrow morning... 33.1F

Posted by: spgass1 | March 3, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

spgass1, still on topic (snow), any recommendations on tire chains? I have a front wheel drive Escape and 99% of the time I can make it anywhere so 4wd is not worth it for me.

Posted by: eric654 | March 3, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I went to the Front Royal Auto Zone and bought Lightning Cables by Quality Chain Corp. They are easy to install (you don't have to drive on them). My guess is that the cable chains aren't quite as good as real chains, but my main complaint is that they seem loose on my tires even though my size is listed on the packaging. In fact, I've even had them come off in a wheel spinning circumstance. I think they're pretty good for packed snow/ice traction but not a panacea for an unplowed hill (I have a front wheel drive sedan). See also: Low-Tech Traction

My wife has an AWD vehicle and even that got stuck this winter (the mailman and neighbors helped push it free). Her tires had recently passed state inspection, but there really wasn't a lot of bite left. Subsequently, I bought Bridgestone Blizzak tires and now her car is pretty awesome in the snow. Snow tires cost a lot more than tire chains, but you don't have the hassle of taking them on and off and limiting your speed to 30 mph or so with them on.

Posted by: spgass1 | March 3, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

We have GOT to get out of this El Nino pattern. This crap of having West Coast storms constantly moving across the southern tier of states and either hitting us or skimming us just N or S, every 3-5 days for the last 3 months or so, is getting just insane. Right now, we need about two weeks of sunshine and temps around average (around 50) to get the rest of these snow piles melted....but we just can't get more than a couple of days of sun at a time before the next low-pressure threatens.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 3, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

i'm replinishing my firewood this weekend, so that makes it a virtual certainty that there will be no snow and no more cold temps either.

Posted by: natsfan76 | March 3, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Snow in March c'mon... how rare is that and its too warm. I do think its funny how people remember that March 93 storm. There was atleast a foot of snow and sleet and then a coating of freezing rain on top of it. Now that was a mess... and after the storm it was bitterly cold (again very unusual) for several days. Also I don't even remember it snowing at all last March when we got roughly 6". Probably should count snow totals unless it actually sticks to the street lol! Winter is over snow lovers!

Posted by: brianbol1 | March 4, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

accuweather says that mid to late march to look for snow

Posted by: snowlover31 | March 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

This has been a strange winter, so I voted for the Trace to 1" option. However, I wouldn't at all be surprised if we receive more than 6".

Since I live in Baltimore City, I look to BWI for weather records and averages. Average March snowfall is 2.4" at BWI (1.5" by the 15th, another inch in the final 16 days of the month), and last year we received 5.8" of snow in March (the snowiest month during the 08-09 winter).

As to the 'Blizzard of 1993'? We got maybe a foot of snow that fell in Baltimore City, but the actual final total on the ground was held down as there was intermittent light rain mixing in that melted some of it after it fell. More a nuisance than anything else. IMO, the real problem was the cold and wind gusts AFTER the 'blizzard'.

In my experience of weather in this area (going back to the winter of 73-74 through 81-82 in DC; 82-83 through present in Baltimore City), if the winter has been snowy, March usually is not. If the winter has not been snowy, March usually is the snowiest month, or among the snowiest months (although that usually isn't saying a lot).

Posted by: critter69 | March 4, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

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