Moderate snow falls in Montpelier, Va. on February 19, 2012.

The “fringe storm of 2012” impacted parts of central and southern Va. with a sizeable snowfall ranging from about 5-10” on the high end. That’s especially huge in this winterless winter we’ve had on the East Coast. Along with CWG lead seasonal forecaster Matt Ross, I was able to witness at least part of the best of this storm while racing (or crawling) through central Va.

A snow lover can only wait for snow for so long. Reminiscing about the January 20-21 1”+ of snow just was not going to cut it. And at this point in the winter, that one could end up being the big event of the year. Sad, huh? As if to rub salt in the wound, we were briefly tantalized that this weekend might be different around here.

Of course, by the time forecast maps came out we knew that was not going to happen. Maybe next time. That is, if there is one...

Those were Sunday morning thoughts.


The noon run of the Rapid Update Cycle indicated a period of .1”+ per hour liquid equivalent precipitation (dark green) to the south of D.C. This can correlate to 1” per hour or greater snow.

Snow begins to fall moderately in Unionville, Va. around 4:45 p.m. on February 19.

Snow accumulation increases on the road toward Orange, Va. from Unionville, Va.

We headed in the direction of Culpeper, Va. and ultimately dropped a little further south to Wilderness, Va. (near Lake of the Woods) before we saw the first flakes. The snow came on nicely as we entered into a stronger band and it quickly began to accumulate while temperatures dropped from around 40 to near freezing. From Wilderness, we moved southwest as snow continued. Finally, we decided to stop and hang out in a small park to watch the snow fall.


Wet snow sticks to posts a few miles northeast of Orange, Va.

A band of snow develops to the south of our location (blue target.

Heavy snow is intercepted northwest of Richmond, Va. Our location is indicated by the blue target.

Heavy snow falls in Montpelier, Va.

Heavy snow falls in Montpelier, Va.

It was kind of fitting to see snow on I-95. Every local snow lover dreams of an I-95 snowstorm, except when it does not happen from D.C. to Boston!

Before midnight, we arrived back in Washington to the scene below. Sometimes you gotta go to the weather when it refuses to come to you.


In D.C., it’s hard to even tell a few raindrops and snowflakes fell.