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Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 11/ 8/2010

What's the average date of D.C.'s first snow?

By Jason Samenow

* Sunny, but breezy: Full Forecast | 2010-2011 Winter Outlook *

On Saturday, CWG reader @josh28 posed the following question:

I can't find this online anywhere, so I'll ask it here - what's the average first date of snow in DC?

The answer: Between 1971-2000, the average date of the first 0.1" of snow was December 13 and December 28 for the first inch.

Where could you find this information? Go to the National Weather Service's NOWDATA link for D.C./Baltimore and then:

1) Under Products, select First/last dates
2) Select Location (Washington area)
3) Select Variable(s) (Snowfall >=0.1" and Snowfall >=1")
4) Select Year (1971-2000)

By Jason Samenow  | November 8, 2010; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Latest, Local Climate  
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Here's a list of first/last by season going back to 1887-88, also including total number of days with accumulating snow per yr.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | November 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I thought we all knew...that December fifth is the general date for the first measurable snow in Washington, D.C.!

At least that's the way it has seemed in recent years. Some years we have had flurries or even ice in November. At other times, snow of any type has held off until after Christmas.

Not sure about this year, but I think I'll go with Dec. 5. The day falls on Sunday, and the Redskins kick off at 1 PM, but at the Meadowlands. Perhaps New York/New Jersey will get the big snow!

BTW the last La Nina winter we had was two years ago. We had a snow on Dec. 5th, little accumulation but lots of flurries throughout the rest of met winter, and a rather big snow on March 1 to kick off met spring.

In addition, the latest woolly caterpillars are debating the coming winter's severity. Yesterday's sample featured one caterpillar with a narrow brown band between wide black bands [the classic "hard winter" signature!] and a second totally brown woollybear [just as classic for a "very mild" winter!] This has me perplexed; either the caterpillars can't agree, or I found at least one "tea party" woollybear!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | November 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

My mother always used to say that the date the first snowfall sticks in the street, that was how many snowstorms you would get over the rest of the winter.

So plan accordingly.

Posted by: legloaj | November 8, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't know a wooly caterpillar if it came and bit me on the... finger. But I am very interested in what others have noticed about their bands this year, since so far we have Bombo47jea's report of finding two in conflict. Anyone else see anything?

Posted by: Snowlover2 | November 8, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Jan 19th. Will b a below av. winter 4 snow.

Posted by: VaTechBob | November 8, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Looking at Ian's comprehensive snow data table, there hasn't been a winter since 1936-37 when there were 20+ days with .1 of snow and the all-time record is 21. So, 22 is the new mantra.

Re: Redskins playing in the snow, there was quite a snow storm during one of the home games in 1960 at Griffith Stadium, either the Giants on Dec. 11 or the Eagles on Dec. 18, 1960. So maybe the snow gods will be generous and give us a big northeast corridor snowstorm on Dec. 5, which would be almost 50 years after that snowy Redskins game.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | November 8, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, it's awesome that you guys helped me answer that question. Thanks so much!

Posted by: josh28 | November 8, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Please please please let it snow on my 25th birthday on Dec 11!!!!!!!

Posted by: SanDieganLostinDC | November 8, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

@SanDieganLostinDC, Looking back at a CWG post from last December (, Baltimore had a then-record 14.1" on December 11-12, 1960. So this means the Redskins played the NY Giants in heavy snow on December 11, 1960 and it's only fitting we get snow on Dec. 11, which is (a) your 25th birthday and (b) the 50th anniversary of the Redskins-Giants snowball game.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | November 9, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

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