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Posted at 2:25 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Rate our cold winter so far

By Jason Samenow

So the Groundhog said spring is around the corner and we're talking about a mild pattern settling in next week. Whether or not winter makes a comeback later this month, now seems like a good time to step back and reflect on what the season has delivered so far...

Matt Rogers has demonstrated it's been cold. Both December and January were colder than average. And, as today so well demonstrates, it's not just the cold - but also the wind that has made it especially bitter at times.

Despite the fact we've missed out on several opportunities for snowstorms, total snowfall for the winter at 9.4 inches is just about average season to date. For me (as someone who likes snow), even though we've failed to cash in on many snowstorm threats, it has been quite the ride tracking the seemingly endless parade of them...

Keep reading to let us know if you're ready for spring and to vote on how much snow will fall the rest of the winter...

By Jason Samenow  | February 8, 2011; 2:25 PM ET
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Latest, Local Climate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: No more than flurries likely Thursday
Next: PM Update: Bitter winds until tomorrow


I'm actually surprised there aren't more Fails so far. Feel free to comment about what you have liked or disliked about this winter to date?

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 8, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

More snow please!

Posted by: tam_w | February 8, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'll comment. The cold isn't really that big a deal, but I believe, as I've indicated before, that if its going to be cold, may as well be snowing. I have two types of weather that I hate; cold and rainy is one, hot and humid is the other.

Posted by: TBAlexandria | February 8, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I got a free four-day weekend thanks the ice storm and Pepco, so I can't complain too much, but I would have liked a lot more snow as opposed to ice. Just more... winter in general. I never get enough of it in DC. The increasing light is already starting to depress me as I start to dread the arrival of summer.

Posted by: csdiego | February 8, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I voted for more snow, but I'd like to say not too much of it. I said 3-6" more total might fall, which feels right. (Just not on March 7 at Dulles, please!)

I gave this winter a C. I actually liked the cold temps, especially in December; I know a lot of people would welcome the chance for a 70 or 80 degree Christmas, but to me that just doesn't feel right. So I've often liked the periods of cold, though it did get tiresome after days and weeks of below normal temps. OTOH, watching potential snow storms bust or fall short gets old; particularly egregious was the Dec. 26 storm which seemingly hit almost everyone in the East except for most of the DC/Baltimore region.

If not for the Jan. 26 storm ("Commutageddon"?) we'd be seriously underperforming snowfall-wise, though that might have made a fitting balance to last year's overperformance. That was one of only two substantial snows we've had in the immediate DC area by my reckoning, and the other (2 inches and change where I live on Jan. 11) only questionably qualifies. I'd guess a third moderate snow (3-5"?) can happen in late Feb/early March, but would be surprised to see much more.

Posted by: mkarns | February 8, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually surprised there aren't more Fails so far. Feel free to comment about what you have liked or disliked about this winter to date?



Aren't you worried about tainting the process when you say that?

That's borderline bad ethics.

Posted by: jaybird926 | February 8, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The only thing about the extreme cold is that it really drives up your heat related bills.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | February 8, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

While Jan 26th was entertaining & allowed me to debut a new snow shovel, it also tore up the neighborhood trees & shrubs. Also seemed to make a lot of people (not the schoolkids) VERY unhappy.

Aisde from that one event we have suffered so much cold & wind but keep losing the weekly snow lottery. I don't like that.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 8, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed, that January 26 event saved this winter from an F!! I still voted D!! I suppose it is true that we were spoiled from last year, but we could have done better that the 9.4 inches (less than that here in Dale City)!!

Posted by: johnunion1 | February 8, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse


You're probably right...but as we say- these are non-scientific polls- intended for fun :)

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 8, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Are you ready for spring?
Yes. Now.
No. More snow please.

I don't like the way this question is phrased, because I'm afraid that is not the REAL options. I feel like it is either yes to spring, or have weeks and weeks more if cold, windy, snow-free horribleness. :-P If I thought there was really much chance for more snow I'd totally pick that option, but I've kinda resigned myself to the snow being more or less done for the season, and if that is the case, bring on spring!!

Posted by: megamuphen | February 8, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Good: Not as much snow (so far) as last year.
Bad: The 12" in that storm was incredibly heavy. Took down tree limbs, strained people's backs.

Good: Not as much windiness (so far) as some years.
Bad: Still too much wind.

BAD BAD BAD: Persistent cold temps. Record heating bills.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | February 8, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I like every season in its place (though I have a preference for spring and fall). So while I like it to be nice and chilly in winter, this dry windy cold is getting really old. My skin is chapped and I feel like I've been cold every day for three months. It was just this morning that I woke up and decided that I'm done being cold, and spring should come soon! Hopefully we'll have a nice one, and we won't skip straight into summer.

Posted by: aks8218 | February 8, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

+I have two types of weather that I hate; cold and rainy is one, hot and humid is the other.+

Ditto, although it has to be very humid for me to complain. I'd rather have a foot of snow and pleasant conditions to be outside in, than that sleeting/raining/windy action.

Posted by: kt76 | February 8, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Well personally to me, winter has been a big bummer...Are coldest winters are usually the snowiest winters..Well not this year...Late last week looking at all of the weather models, I really thought that we had a big chance for snow this thursday....Not just a big chance for snow but also a real big winter storm...GFS and NAM models exc have let me down this year...Made every single snow chance so tricky.Unlike last year when we had BOMBS of snow dumped on the region...I personally LOVE weather when it is at its worst...Hot and Humid bring Severe weather..Long lasting cold patterns bring snow...But not this year...I voted that there will be no more snow even though I would like 12+ more inches...Really I could take 100+ more though..I LOVE EXTREME weather...Thats why i go to school..To become a Severe Weather Expert..When everyone wants to run from Severe Weather..I am the one who is going in...I beleive that weather runs in a cycles/patterns...Were offical done with winter after this week...I could put money on it...I am so done with all of these teasers that winter has giving us...I see the light at the end of winters tunnel already....See you next year OLD MAN WINTER...But next year OLD MAN WINTER better pay us back with snow and alot of it...I got a FEELING HE WILL...I think, I know winter will be cold next year....But how cold?, and how much snow will be the big question come October/November 2011..Most of all I already said I LOVE extreme weather...I hope Extreme weather will hold off and be a pleaseant week for the first week of April.My son is due that week.

Posted by: bradfordfields81 | February 8, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I'd echo TBAlexandria's comments but would add that given the choice between "cold and rainy" and "hot and humid", I'll take the cold every single time. And for the comment about high heating bills, I'll trade this winter's heating bills for last summer's A/C bills any day of the week (and through in the high water bills due to lack of rain)!

Posted by: ftwash | February 8, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I beleive that winter will be offically over after this week...Maybee another teaser buy months end...I would Like 100+inches..But not even 1-2 inches will even happen...Old Man winter better pay us back next year...I will take all the Northeast snow this year with no problems at all.Does everyone remeber the blizzard of 1993? I do very well..It is not going to happen so do not worry anyone..See you next year Old Man Winter....You better pack one heck of a snow punch in winter 2012....

Posted by: bradfordfields81 | February 8, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I voted "D". I would have failed it, but I bumped it up do to the fact that we have not had too much snow. Spring can start tomorrow as far as I am concerned.

Posted by: soyboy99 | February 8, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Hate. Hate. Hate. This. Winter. Bone-chilling cold (and I'm originally from New England -- Connecticut native, got my degrees in Vermont, and spent years in Boston -- so it's not as if I'm not used to it!). Vicious, skin-scraping wind, freezing rain and just enough snow to make it all completely miserable for walking and driving. (I don't get time off from my job for snow days. Just have to telecommute, which is inconvenient and not very much fun. I don't even have the option of taking a snow/personal day; I'm not a federal employee.)

Uncle, I say. Uncle! Come on, spring!

Posted by: khk918 | February 8, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

BAD! It's almost mid February and we've had only one measurable snow so far! I want more snow!

Posted by: refresh123 | February 8, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I like it cold, even when it's too cold to sail. This is the first winter I haven't been able to get a boat out onto the river in the last 5 years, I think. This is the first year that I saw ice forming around my boat's hull, in spite of the "bubblers" that the marina uses to churn the water. That was worrisome, but the ice was thin.

Posted by: --sg | February 8, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

despite all the snow disappointments, i surprised myself by giving this winter a "C". my thinking is that we've had 1/2 the formula (cold + precip) in place for most of the winter. i think we just got unlucky with the precip part. i hope next winter and many future winters are this cold. our usual problem is warm temps, so i figure if it's this cold, the snow will come.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 8, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Winter hasnt been too bad. A little less snow would be ideal. Problem now is the mud/ Farm living is the life me keep Manhattan just give that countryside.

Wish temps were a little closer to average. If you work at in the weather snow makes life incredibly difficult. Clearing pasture for lambing ewes because you have gotten almost 6ft of snow is about 2 weeks is no fun. I am guessing folks who love the snow live inside the beltway and use Metro.

I heat with geothermal and use solar for hot water.I also use solar and wind for electricity. I cant go off grid because of farm use etc.

I take the heat and humidity 95+ degree temps and high humidity over deep snow and cold any day. Sheep chill, dogs chill and I go for the AC and margarita on the rocks.

I had my voodoo priestess friend do her thing so next five winters can all be average temp wise with average precip but below average snow.

So how does the long range summer forecast look and hurricane season

Posted by: sheepherder | February 8, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

It seems to be ending three weeks early--without the generally-anticipated Presidents' Day snow event.

I'd love to catch and stew that groundhog!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 8, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I've officially given up on this Winter for snow. Everything so far has been a miss and it doesn't look like the pattern will change. So, as much as I love snow and wanted to play a bit in my new Jeep, I'm now ready for Spring/Summer so I can drop the top and the doors!

Posted by: Bworl | February 8, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Voted "Bad". I want more snow. I detest wind!! I'll take warmer if no snow.

Tornado "season" starts soon and then on to my fave hurricane season (second fave to snow storms).

Posted by: kygurl94 | February 8, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I wanted to give the winter an A, but the lack of snow has made it not quite so perfect, but at least it's been cold. I HATE when we get 70 degree days in Dec/Jan/Feb! I gave this winter a B, but it's really more like an A-. We didn't get much snow BUT we used all our snow days and so far aren't having to make up any at the end of the year, AND we had a delay or 2 and an early release so we got the max time off for the little bit of snow!

Posted by: mamory1975 | February 8, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The good: one decent snow, two smaller snows, and a beautiful ice storm.
The bad: too many cold, windy days with no snow, so many near-misses for snow.

If we can have more snow, I'd vote for that. If not (& I think we are done with snow for this winter), I am ready for spring and not needing to bundle up every time we want to go anywhere. (Of course we will all take what we get, seeing as how we don't actually get to pick).

Posted by: batsandgates | February 8, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I've seen a lot worse...but with the economy and increased oil prices, I see it hitting poeple harder. I've had to help my sister's family keep the lights on with a couple of loans this winter...just a lot more hours of heating, I guess. I've stayed pretty steady with my geothermal heat...about the same as last year. I'm to the point that I would like to feel some of that spring fever again!

Posted by: Davita1 | February 8, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I DID vote "FAIL".

Bitter cold, with miserable winds, so my daughter shakes like a leaf waiting for the school bus. So cold that my fingertips crack. Snowstorm after snowstorm for my friends and family in NY and Boston and pretty much zilch for us.

I love winter. But if all this one has in store is more days so cold that I can't stay warm no matter how much I wear and no real snow, I'm ready for an early spring!

Posted by: concepcion611 | February 9, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

This is an extraordinarily frustrating winter for me! I love the biting cold-clean, fresh, invigorating-that we do NOT get enough of around here. We've had sufficiently long stretches of that, so worth an "A-".

OTOH, those multiple total misses that have created our snow hole, with snow blanketing other cities elsewhere in the Northeast, and worse yet, places down south that have received way more snow than we have?! Absolutely maddening! A piddling 9.4" at National (compared to what other places have received)? A complete fail: "F". (Right or wrong, future annual snowfall will always be compared to last year).

And to conclude my rant, below-normal precipitation. Our newly-planted trees from Casey Trees had to be watered in December and January! A barely acceptable "C".

This winter overall? I give it a "D", for (VERY) disappointing!

Posted by: TominMichiganParkDC | February 9, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The only complaint that I have is a lack of considerable snowfall accumulation so far! Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Norfolk, VA received more snowfall in a single storm than we have all winter so far!

Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 10, 2011 12:24 AM | Report abuse

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