How deep was the snow?

You think it was bad where you were: what about the folks in Largo and Rockville and Vienna who got it up to their keisters?

Unofficial accumulation figures in the Washington area ranged widely, from as little as a foot downtown to nearly 24 inches in some suburbs, with drifts several feet high by mid-afternoon in both the city and the surrounding area.

Monitors calling in snow depths to the National Weather Service at 3 p.m. reported 18 inches in Upper Marlboro, for example, but only 12 inches at nearby Ft. Meade, the same amount measured in downtown Washington.

The D.C. Fire Department, however, reported wind-whipped drifts of up to four feet in parts of the city. Across the Potomac River, the National Weather Service observation station at National Airport recorded an official accumulation of 14 inches as of 5 p.m., with heavy snow still falling. By 10 p.m. the figure at National was 17 inches.

Baltimore-Washington International Airport reported 16 inches, and Dulles International Airport reported 19 inches as of 5 p.m. Both had measured 23 inches at 9 p.m.

South and east of Washington, Largo reported 16 inches in mid-afternoon, La Plata 13 inches, Dale City 17 inches and Fort Belvoir 16 inches. Dale City recorded 20 inches by 9 p.m. To the north and west, Gaithersburg reported 15 inches, Rockville 16, and Vienna 17. Rockville got eight more inches before the night was over.

Farther out, Front Royal reported more than 30 inches of snow in the mountains of western Virginia and Roanoke reported a record 24-hour accumulation of 18.6 inches by early afternoon.

Periodically during the day, residents of Washington and Baltimore witnessed the unusual phenomenon of thunder and lightning in the midst of heavy snow, as warm air from the Atlantic clashed with the colder air of the winter storm, setting off an electrical concert.