Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
The new Washington
Post Weather website
Jump to CWG's
Latest Full Forecast
Outside now? Radar, temps
and more: Weather Wall
Follow us on Twitter (@capitalweather) and become a fan on Facebook
Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 12/ 6/2010

Snowmageddon - the book!

By Capital Weather Gang

Snow accumulation inside a basketball hoop after Snowmageddon, Feb. 7, 2010. Photo credit: Kevin Ambrose.

The Capital Weather Gang's Ian Livingston and Kevin Ambrose recently completed work on Snowmageddon: Washington's Record-breaking Winter of 2009-10, a book detailing this past winter's historic snowfall.

The 120-page,10-chapter book includes photos, snowfall plots, weather maps, radar snapshots and statistics. We've excerpted part of the book below...

During the lead up to Snowmageddon, an enormous conglomeration of moisture with roots into the tropics traversed northern Mexico in the continued active, and El Nino enhanced, southern jet stream. Similar to the December storm, low pressure emerged around the Texas coast and moved to a position near Louisiana where it dropped 3-4" of rain.
From the Gulf of Mexico, the center of the storm transitioned to a position off the Southeast U.S. coast and tracked northeast to just off the North Carolina and Virginia shore by the morning of the Saturday the 6th. Also similar to the December snowstorm, the system was blocked from continuing too far north by cold high pressure in Greenland that funneled arctic air into the D.C. area during the course of the event. Instead of quickly passing by and heading north up toward New England, the storm slowly shifted east after pummeling the mid-Atlantic.
An expansive area of light snow moved into the D.C. area on the morning of Friday the 5th. In anticipation of the storm's arrival, most businesses, schools, and the federal government closed up shop early on Friday. Thanks in part to another major snowstorm on the 9th and 10th, the soonest many offices and schools would re-opened was one week later.
Initially, marginal temperatures near and just above freezing kept most accumulation to grassy surfaces or the coldest locations in the western suburbs. As the sun set on Friday the 5th, the snow's intensity picked up, while convective bands (similar to heavy rain patterns associated with thunderstorms) began to push into the area around the developing low pressure. Colder air aloft, continually reinforced by high pressure to the north, made this another somewhat rare storm in which almost all the precipitation fell as snow in the Washington area.
Periods of heavy snow, some accompanied by rolling thunder and obscured flashes of lightning, continued across the region late Friday evening through Saturday. Blizzard warnings were extended from the eastern shore back toward the west and into the District on Friday night. During the same period, Dulles Airport reported heavy snow every observation from 6 p.m. on the 5th until 8 a.m. on the 6th.
The storm came in two rounds for the D.C. area and points east. The first round was heavy and wet. The second -- caused by upper-level energy swinging across the region from the west -- also fell heavily, but it was drier and fluffier as temperatures dropped. Blizzard warnings, in effect for the city and places just northeast, did not verify locally as with the December 18-19 storm, but several locations near the coast did reach official criteria.
The storm, dubbed "Snowmageddon" by local and national media, and later President Barack Obama, dropped very significant snowfall across the entire Washington metro area. In most places the snow was chock-full of water content thanks to the tropical feed of the first portion of the storm. Snowmageddon rivaled the snowfall production of any other major snowstorm in recorded history; matters of where it fell on a top 10 list were largely defined by how the heaviest bands set up.
In addition to ranking number 4 all time for D.C., with 17.8" accumulation, the event ranks number 2 all time at the current observation location (National Airport). Much of the city reported totals in the 20 to 24 inch range, with the highest numbers located in a band just north and west of the city. Dulles Airport recorded an incredible 32.4" while places close by such as Leesburg, VA fell just short of 3 feet, with 34.5" reported.

The first two chapters in the book are devoted to Washington's all-time great snowstorms, including the Knickerbocker Snowstorm and scenes from the Great Blizzard of 1899, and include photographs and statistics from Washington's top 10 snowstorms and a photo comparison of historic snowstorms.

comparison1.jpg

A page of the book that shows a photo comparison of the Tidal Basin during Snowmageddon (bottom) and a snowstorm that occurred on Jan. 14, 1925 (top). Notice the size difference of the cherry trees. Photo credit: Library of Congress and Jim Schuyler.


Do you remember Paul Kocin, formerly the Weather Channel's winter storm expert? Paul wrote the foreward for the book. Jason Samenow, CWG's chief meteorologist and weather editor for the Washington Post, wrote the book's introduction. They both share their thoughts and feelings about last year's record-breaking winter.

The book, which is self-published, is currently available online. An eBook version in PDF is available at Weatherbook.com. If you are interested in a print-on-demand hardcover book, they are available at http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1774656. The paperback version is available at http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1775313. (The code BLURBSNOW will give you a $6.99 discount until Dec. 12.) The book can also be previewed at Blurb.com

Enjoy, and think snow!

cars.jpg

A photo of snow-covered cars in Washington after the second February blizzard (a.k.a. Snoverkill). Photo credit: Ian Livingston.


radar.jpg
The radar for 12 a.m. Feb. 6 showing the heavy precipitation that was falling over Washington during Snowmageddon. Radar credit: www.wunderground.com.


Page21.jpg

A photo and text page from the Snowmageddon book, showing a scene from Feb. 6, 2010. Much of the book's text is printed on top of photos of snow, rather than blank paper, which the authors say allowed for extra photos in the book.


Table of Contents:

Forward by Paul Kocin

Introduction by Jason Samenow

Chapter 1. The Record-breaking Winter of 2009-10

Chapter 2. Washingtons Top 10 Snowstorms

Chapter 3. Historic Snowstorms - A Photo Comparison with Snowmageddon

Chapter 4. The December 5 Coincidence

Chapter 5. Snowpocalypse - The Blizzard of December 18-19, 2009

Chapter 6. The Alberta Clipper of January 8, 2010

Chapter 7. The Snowstorm of January 30, 2010

Chapter 8. Snowmageddon's Appetizer - February 2-3, 2010

Chapter 9. Snowmageddon - The Blizzard of February 5-6, 2010

Chapter 10. Snoverkill - The Blizzard of February 9-10, 2010

By Capital Weather Gang  | December 6, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Education, Latest, Photography, Snowmageddon, Winter Storms  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Any truth to rumors of a Sunday-Monday storm?
Next: PM Update: Cold winds keep on blowing

Comments

FYI- That discount code (BLURBSNOW)could not be applied. Site says only the author of the book can use that code.

Posted by: jwc123 | December 6, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

CWG - I had wanted to get this book, but over $30 for a softcover is out of my budget. We won't even get started on the hardcover price.
Jeez!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 6, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

yeah, too bad the code doesn't work. I'd grab it in a heartbeat for $6.99 but not for over $30

Posted by: bossofbam | December 6, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

nevermind, I read it as 6.99 not a 6.99 discount. my bad

Posted by: bossofbam | December 6, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

nevermind, I read it as 6.99 total not a 6.99 discount. my bad

Posted by: bossofbam | December 6, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Cool, Paul Kocin's in the book! :)

Posted by: Rcmorgan | December 6, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I would love to buy the hardcover if you can get the "BLURBSNOW" discount to work!

Posted by: emilyjg72 | December 6, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I wanted to buy the eBook, but it's trying to charge me $4 for shipping and handling.

For an eBook? Are you kidding??

Please fix this and I'll be happy to buy the PDF.

Posted by: vnangia | December 6, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Congrats, guys! Just in time for the winter season.

Posted by: Ann-CapitalWeatherGang | December 6, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I was really looking forward to this book, but the price is offputting, esp. since it includes material I have in another book.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | December 6, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I can let Kevin address the price further but this is basically the cheapest option given what we can do with it at this time. I agree it is more expensive than hoped, but from others that have done print on demand I've heard it's not too bad. As far as materials from another book... I'm not sure what that means. This is all new information other than the top 10 list which you won't find in this fashion elsewhere.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 6, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, there should be no shipping charge with the eBook, that will be fixed and credited.

Regarding the hard cover book price, it's print-on-demand so it runs about twice the cost of publishing in bulk. We hope to have other options next year.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | December 6, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The eBook shipping charge should be removed now, it was a mistake. We will credit back any eBook shipping charges that were paid. Also, I was told by Blurb.com that the BLURBSNOW promo code is working again. Sorry for the problems, a bit of a rocky start.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | December 6, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"The first two chapters in the book are devoted to Washington's all-time great snowstorms, including the Knickerbocker Snowstorm and scenes from the Great Blizzard of 1899...." sounds like material from "Blizzards and Snowstorms of Washington, D.C." and possibly "Washington Weather".

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | December 6, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1, a few photos may be the same but there is additional info including snowfall maps and such not included prior. Plus of course 3 storms are new to the top 10 (2 this yr and also 1 in 2003).

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 6, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

the book looks good. what stands out the most about that winter is that it seems like every storm had a unique character to it. i still think 96 and 03 were better storms than anyone of the storms last winter for dc and just north, but that's being very picky. the first part of the feb 6 was really wet, the 2nd part was amazing. great winter for snow, obviously. not a horrible start so far this winter...i'm just hoping we get snow when it's cold and not just cold and dry.

Posted by: swishjobs | December 6, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

the book looks good. what stands out the most about that winter is that it seems like every storm had a unique character to it. i still think 96 and 03 were better storms than anyone of the storms last winter for dc and just north, but that's being very picky. the first part of the feb 6 was really wet, the 2nd part was amazing. great winter for snow, obviously. not a horrible start so far this winter...i'm just hoping we get snow when it's cold and not just cold and dry.

Posted by: swishjobs | December 6, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2012 The Washington Post Company