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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Snowmageddon: One year later...

By Jason Samenow

Share your memories with us

#4 Snowstorm for Washington - Snowmageddon, February 5-6, 2010. Washington recorded 17.8" of snow. By CWG's Kevin Ambrose.

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the historic Snowmageddon storm of February 5-6, 2010 which dropped 18-32 inches of snow across the metro region.

It was the fourth biggest snowstorm on record at Reagan National, with 17.8", and the biggest storm on record at Dulles with 32.4".

We wrote literally dozens of posts about the storm - before, during, and after it paralyzed the region.

Keep reading for a guide to the best of CWG's Snowmageddon content. And share with us your Snowmageddon stories by commenting below. You can also follow/share Snowmageddon memories on Twitter using hashtag #snowmemberwhen

Snow measurement at 5:31 PM February 6 near Oakton, VA. By CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.

Here's an aggregation of the posts that tell the story.

* Forecasts & nowcasts (partial compilation): Two possible snow producers (2/1) | Some snow now, a lot later (2/2) | Major snowfall potential (2/3) | Snow likely to be historic (2/4) | Crippling snowstorm imminent (2/5) | Snow underway, some could get two feet (2/5) | Blizzard warning expanded (2/5) | Buried & more coming (2/6)

* Storm naming: Help us name the storm | Vote for a name | 'Snowmageddon' name traced to CWG reader | Snowmageddon one of 2010's top words

* Climatology/records: Multiple double digit storms in one winter rare | Snowmageddon sets records | Amazing mid-Atlantic snow statistics

* Science: Snowmageddon's incredible output | The varying predictability of snowstorms | Why winter 2009-2010 was snowy part I & part II

* Link to climate change?: Consistent with climate change | Not due to climate change

* Impacts: Live chat before storm | Watch out for those ice dams

* Multimedia & imagery: Measuring Snowmageddon's depth | Snowbound in the suburbs | Snowmageddon: Must see photos and video | Photographing D.C. making history

* Fun: Eating our way through Snowmageddon | Best of Snowmageddon (and Snoverkill) comments

* Controversy: Politician sounds off

* Merchandise: Snowmageddon: the book | Snowmageddon t-shirts

If you want to see everything we've ever written about the storm, visit our Snowmageddon archive .

Now - what are your favorite/least favorite recollections?

By Jason Samenow  | February 4, 2011; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Latest, Snowmageddon  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Plentiful clouds before storminess
Next: Snowmageddon memories a trending topic


What a week that was.....

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 4, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Im going to cry. Im so happy to see all of these. The reds on that map are so beautiful. I have nothing else to say.

Posted by: DullesARC | February 4, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Best thing: staying home for an entire week with Mr FIREDRAGON47 in warm, well stocked house. House was well stocked as we read CWG & knew what was coming.

Worst: the terrible fights that erupted in our townhouse community over painfully excavated parking spaces. So much for the initial neighborliness & cooperation displayed during the first day of cleanup.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 4, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The thing that strikes me about this storm looking back (indeed, many of last years storms) is the degree to which they were "DC Specials." Most big storms here are even bigger in NYC and destroy Boston. These were mainly ours. Now, I'm not one of those people with regional snow-envy that is extremely pleased that only we got these storms, but I do think it is interesting.

Posted by: jahutch | February 4, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Such a wonderful week that was! I was able to spend time at home with my newly adopted daughter and we had such a great time baking, painting, playing, and of course, playing in the snow and shoveling.

Here's hoping next week pans out into something. Winter is only bearable if we get snow!

Posted by: nolagirl67 | February 4, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

What I remember: Sliding on an icy street just a blcok from home and incurring nearly $1,000 of damage to my car.

And oh yes, the ice dam that forced a leak into my living room window and ruined the drywall below it.

And let's not forget the dog having no good place to go outside (because even after I shoveled a path she was intimated by the walls of snow towering over her) and breaking her house training.

Ah yes, such fond memories ...

Posted by: mhardy1 | February 4, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Snowpocalypse 2010. Or as I like to remember it, the day that I turned 21. That's right people, I became legal on Feb. 5 of last year and as an eager college student, all I wanted was to hit the bars and celebrate with my friends. Instead, I sat inside for 5 days straight with a bottle of tequila. Worst 21st birthday ever? I'd think so haha! And what's even better is this impending storm for Saturday. This will (potentially) be 2 years in a row that I get snowed out of my birthday weekend!

Posted by: mindellj | February 4, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I had a unique experience for Snowmageddon and Snoverkill. I spent that week at my parents house in southern Delaware. They have a double-wide in the middle of farmland. The drifting out there was incredible! The bad part was when we lost electricity for 24 hours. No heat, water, septic, stove, etc. I shoveled a path to my parents RV and we spent the night in the RV during the blizzard. Couldn't use water or toilets since it was winterized, but we stayed warm and were able to cook on the propane stove.

We also had a problem with the vent for the septic system getting snow packed and I had to walk 80 feet through the snow drifted up in front of the house to go dig it out.

The plus side - plenty of places to put the snow when we eventually shoveled out. I finally drove back home near Baltimore a couple days after Snoverkill and was amazed because there was nowhere to put the snow!

Posted by: ResQgal | February 4, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't part of the CWG last year but did post a lot on the old easternwx forum. The storm was probably the best forecast storm in the longer times than any other that I can remember in my 35 plus years of forecasting. By 138 hours before the storm hit dc, all the GEFS ensembles members except one were predicting a major snowstorm for dc. The 7PM Feb 1st GEFS guidance had 90% of the members predicting dc would see oveer an inch of liquid (double digit snowfall) and the models and ensembles trended wetter with time. The terrific agreement between all the different models made the storm an unusually easy one to forecast. The best analog for it was the feb 1983 blizzard another dca biggy. It was a fun stomr to follow and forecast.

Posted by: wjunker | February 4, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

FYI - Today, Thursday, February 5 is National Weatherperson's Day, commemorating the birth of John Jeffries in 1744. Jeffries, one of America's first weather observers, began taking daily weather observations in Boston in 1774 and he took the first balloon observation in 1784.

Posted by: djm-01 | February 4, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

It was a wet and wild week I would prefer to forget. As a restaurant owner in the Baltimore Area it was devastating. One full week of business lost to winter storms. I'm glad many people had fun, but it wasn't a bed of roses for everyone. Hoping we don't have a repeat anytime soon.

Posted by: chefjayc | February 4, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 4, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

djm-01 - wow thanks I didn't know this! Thanks for the link :)

chefjayc - I can empathize with your pragmatic stance on heavy snowfall. It really is just super disruptive... hope business is better this winter, though!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 4, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

So many memories. I took a trip through the chaos of a DC grocery store as the snow began. Can you say CHAOS? Luckily, I captured it for your amusement.

Posted by: ryaneades | February 4, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse


Excellent video. Thanks for sharing it. I'm going to embed in upcoming post...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 4, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@Jason-CWG: Cool! Thanks!

Posted by: ryaneades | February 4, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

i spent three days straight in the cab of a John deere 672 grader, followed by two weeks of 16 hrs on and 8hrs off; openin untouched roads with 35" of snow as well as cuttin ice off I81. Lets have another winter like that

Posted by: vtjudyz | February 4, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@vtjudyz: Thank you.

Posted by: --sg | February 4, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

One year later...and all we get is a bunch of miserable RAIN!!! Boy, I hate this 35-39 and rain scenario. The low is in the right place...why is the air not cold enough???

You'd think that with Dallas, Houston and even Brownsville getting snow and ice, that we should be in for a pretty good winter event! At least the storm seems to be backing off on my Tuesday dance night. Maybe we will get a DRY Tuesday evening for a change.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 4, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

how many tuesday dances have been snowed out this season?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 4, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought it would never stop snowing...

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | February 4, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

My father, who lived on the west coast, became gravely ill during that time. I was beside myself--totally stuck and unable to get there. After several nerve wracking days, I finally got a flight out and thankfully got there before he passed away. I think he waited for me...

Posted by: clare2 | February 4, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I have great memories of carrying my then-infant son on my back and walking around in the snow. (He wasn't so sure about snow then; fortunately he likes it better this year. :o) Also, my husband got to work for home for several days in a row, so we got to enjoy some nice family time. There is a photo of me running into an untouched snowy field with wild abandon-- that pretty much sums up my excitement about snow (and photos of my husband digging out our car might convey his general feelings about snow ;o).

I also remember that the snow stuck around for a such a long time... there were giant snow banks blocking one's view while driving; you had to climb snow/ice hills to cross any streets, etc. for a long time after the storms ended.

Posted by: batsandgates | February 4, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

My family digging out a snowplow in front of our house was a memorable experience.

Posted by: BTRWx | February 4, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

In 2011, I both ran a marathon and dug us out after snowmageddon. I'm still not sure which one made me more sore.

Posted by: veronica7 | February 4, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I was 39 weeks pregnant. Both of our cars were snowed in the garage for 4 days because the neighborhood contractor quit right when the worst of the snow hit. We lost power. We took walks down our deserted street in all the snow and I kept think that my daughter was about to be born during a historic moment for DC. Luckily she waited until the storm was over to greet us. What a storm that was! I loved geeking out with all the CWG fans here.

Posted by: CapCurrent | February 4, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

My multiple reports on the storm from Friday through Sunday:

In advance of the storm - Friday morning & afternoon:

Friday Night:

Friday 11pm NBC 4 News with Bob Ryan & Late Night Snow Update:

Saturday - full day report. Power loss and massive snow!

Superbowl Sunday - The Big Dig!


Posted by: greg2010 | February 4, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Unless you were there for the event, it's tough to appreciate. I recall having to throw snowballs at the DirecTV dish, to knock off the massive amounts of snow blocking the signal (it actually worked.) I recall that my dog, who typically loves snow, freaking out over the sheer amount of depth and drifting. I recall going to North Carolina a few days after the Wednesday blizzard, telling my family (who was not in DC for the snow) about the incredible snowstorms. They could not appreciate the magnitude, until I drove them back into NOVA, and they saw firsthand what had happened.

I would pay good money to do it all over again!

Posted by: wilson7 | February 4, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Things I remember:
-Staying home from work
-The night before it all happened, going into Costco after waiting to get gas and seeing relatively short lines at the checkout.
-Driving home in snowfall on all but deserted 270 after an early evening closing at work
-Neighbor left a car parked on the street and the plow guy ignored that side of the street all together.
-Cheering up a friend who was cold and tired after long days of snow duty
What a snowstorm!

Posted by: eabgarnet | February 4, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Having been born in the Philippines and growing up in the sandbox (Middle East) it was the very exciting for me to see so much snow for the first time. Me walking in the snow was like witnessing some sort of creature trying to walk for the very first time towards its momma...

Posted by: eunicedelrosario | February 4, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Coming out at 6:00am, after plowing until midnight the night before and seeing what almost looked like a hallucination of the amount of snow that had falled in those six hours at my house in the red zone...Only saw that amount of snowfall one other time in my life, storm of 83, near the bay, with thundersnow. Amazing, aweinspiring and scary as anything.

Posted by: Gooddogs | February 4, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I will never ever forget that week. My twins were born on Feb 3, 2010, the snow fell the next day and I spent 4 days alone in the hospital--on generator power with only shelf-stable food--while my husband played Paul Bunyan at our house, caring for out 2.5 year old daughter and my mom while they made due for 4 days without power and couch surfing around town. We finally got word that the power was back on late Monday night (I'd been in the hospital since Thursday) and we took the babies home at 10:30 PM that night. We spent the next day preparing for the next storm, which kept us separated from my parents and older daughter who were staying with friends during the outage, but had unplowed streets and couldn't get to us. It was in many ways a miserable week, but also a harrowing and glorious week. I got to meet these two new, beautiful babies, and witness the extraordinary efforts of doctors and nurses around me while they worked double shifts and bunked 6 to a room. I also remember that first night home, how quiet it was, and also how strangely dark, especially after he buzz of the hospital. It was a tumultuous start to an exhausting and exhilarating year that we'll never forget.

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

My recollection of that week was watching the system develop from across the Atlantic. I was working in France at the time, and remember enviously reading about how my hometown was being socked by an epic storm during an historic winter. A few days before it hit, my parents told me it had just snowed the last weekend in January, but that 6 inches was "just a baby snow" that year (given the 20" snow before Christmas).

When Snowmageddon arrived, I was following it on CWG after a day of skiing in the French Alps. The friend I was with, from Canada, couldn't figure out why I was so engrossed by a major snowstorm at home. I told him DC never gets snow like this, and I was missing the whole thing. Granted, I was surrounded by feet of snow in the Alps, but it wasn't quite the same!

After Snoverkill dumped another foot here, my parents were scrambling to clear leaking ice dams at home, as they were about to come visit me in Europe. When they arrived, they kept telling me how the snow was unlike anything they had ever seen before. "It just kept snowing and snowing," my dad said.

Long story short, my memory of snowmageddon was limited to CWG's extensive and professional coverage of the storm, along with other people's stories and photos. It was the only thing I truly regretted missing while living overseas.

Posted by: meteorolinguist | February 4, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

What I remember most was how my neighbors and I spent many hours clearing our sidewalks only to have VDOT decide to have the streets cleared to the curbs. Of course they had to put the snow somewhere, so they buried our clear sidewalks under piles of snow.

Posted by: hartal | February 5, 2011 12:29 AM | Report abuse

We had a wonderful week in our house. No one had to work or go to school. Our three kids played endlessly in the snow - including jumping off our front porch into 4-foot drifts - and dried out by the fire. My wife got some much needed down-time. And me? We had gotten our oldest son a large volume of Jack London stories for Christmas that year. I sat by the fire and read the book cover-to-cover, and drank a little wine. That will be a week I remember forever.

Posted by: Nemo5 | February 6, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

What I remember most are the grocery stores that kept us fed. Rodman's was the star! It was always open, there were fresh fruits and vegetables, it was an oasis of warmth, wine, and humanity.

The Wisconsin Avenue Safeway on Davenport Street, NW had the touching story of no theft and all the shoppers leaving money and notes when the store was left open on day in deep snow. I never loved my neighborhood more.

Posted by: lvandemark | February 6, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

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