The Washington Post

Can the snowy December 5 date deliver in 2011?

From 2002-2009, December 5 was certainly dealt the hot hand for snow lovers. Five out of those 8 years recorded at least a trace of snow in the D.C. area (4 of 8 measurable snow).

In a detailed analysis, Kevin Ambrose and Ian Livingston wrote exactly one year ago:

It is quite unusual for Washington to see measurable snow in early December, but it is very amazing that the city received snowstorms on December 5 with such frequency.

But in 2010 no fell on that date (it was cold, with a high 41 and low of 32). Can we turn it around in 2011?

No dice this year either, I’m afraid. The forecast is for a high of 60 degrees with partly to mostly cloudy skies and the slightest chance of a shower.

So the December 5 hot streak may be ending, which makes sense statistically speaking. Prior to 2002, measurable snow had fallen on December 5 just 7 times in 130 years. To have 4 measurable snowfalls over a course of 8 years was quite the accomplishment.

But we’ve now started a two year streak with nada. Maybe it’s time to start a snowy streak on a new date. How about December 25? Maybe we got something going with last year’s trace on that date.....

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.


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