The miserable state of affairs for D.C. snow lovers in one chart

November 15, 2013

(Ian Livingston)

On balance, the last 30 winters in Washington, D.C. have not been kind to snow lovers. Sure, we had the epic Snowmageddon winter of 2009-2010, the blizzard of 1996, the President’s Day storm of 2003, and back-to-back major snows in 1987. But setting aside those four “outlier” winters (and the modestly productive winter of 1987-1988), “pathetic” best sums up D.C.’s snow output.

For snow lovers, three of the five “worst” winters (all with less than 4″ of snow)  in the last 30 have occurred in the last six. And yes, each and every day we extend D.C.’s longest drought without a 2″ snowstorm on record (dating back to the late 1800s).

The average snowfall over the last 30 years has been 14″, but that is heavily skewed by the four big outlier winters. The median snowfall is a better indicator of what’s been the norm, and that’s a lowly 10 inches.

The last 30 years mark somewhat of a snow depression for the area. Interestingly, if you examine D.C.’s 125 years of snowfall records, dating back to 1889, the long-term average is 18″, with a median of 15″.

Related: D.C. long-term snowfall still in decline

And, our outlook for the coming winter makes it known we don’t expect this year to be one to break us out of the funk.

Related: Contest: How much snow will fall this winter in Washington, D.C.?

Addendum:

If you live northwest of the District, the snow situation is only somewhat less woeful…

Here’s the chart for Dulles Airport:


(Ian Livingston)
Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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