Many in Washington region are weary of winter and its never-ending snow

By Annie Gowen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February -- there is so little to recommend it.

Endless gray skies, gray faces, and gray snowdrifts that never seem to melt entirely. The month has barely started and here it comes -- unwelcome to much of the wind-chapped and crabby populace -- snow on Tuesday and Wednesday and again this weekend.

Will it ever end?

"I've had enough snow to last me a lifetime," said Keisha Mims, 28, a lawyer from Southeast Washington, slogging home during a recent rush hour. She's dreaming of her vacation in April to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. Until then, she said, "I'm going to sit in the house and eat myself into a coma."

Lower temperatures than normal and higher-than-average snowfall -- including an unusual December snowstorm that dumped 16 inches on the region -- have combined to make this winter more severe than most, weather experts said. They expected three to seven inches for Tuesday and Wednesday's snowfall and even more this weekend, a bane to local jurisdictions where snow removal funds are rapidly being depleted.

Even though past Februarys felt dreary, the past six winters have been relatively mild, with below-average snowfall totals, said Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling. In the past three years, the tally at Reagan National Airport has been less than 10 inches a year, far below the average of about 15 inches. This year, the total is 24 inches -- and counting.

That's why this year's unrelenting snow and cold seems to some like, well, an affront.

"I think what's bugging everybody is . . . we've had really cold wind chills. My co-workers and I didn't even want to venture outside for even a short block dealing with the wind," said Stephanie Caucutt, 29, a lawyer from Alexandria.

It must be bad: Caucutt is originally from Wisconsin and, theoretically, should be used to this sort of thing.

And Washingtonians know the region can get snow well into March -- remember the Blizzard of '93? -- so the next six weeks feel a little daunting. Especially if you're already Over It.

"It's at that point where, once you get into February, I'm done," said Lekan Adesioye, 35, a Manassas resident who works at a nonprofit group in the District.

A seasonal calculus emerges: Drive or Metro? Puffy coat or stylish? Snow boots back in the closet? Carwash? (Answer to last two: What's the point?)

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