The front page of The Washington Post on Feb. 7, 2010, after Snowmageddon. (The Washington Post)

Today marks the anniversary of Snowmageddon, one of the Washington area’s all-time great snowstorms.

The blockbuster storm dumped 17.8 inches on Washington on Feb. 5-6, 2010, its fourth-biggest snow event on record. It was later matched by the Jan. 22-23, 2016, blizzard dubbed Snowzilla.

Snowmageddon was Dulles Airport’s greatest snow event on record, depositing 32.4 inches.

The storm had an enormous impact on the region, shutting it down for days. The weight of the snow cut power to more than 200,000 homes and businesses. Stores were wiped clean of basic supplies in the lead-up, and then the government and schools closed for days after the storm.

Five days after it hit, a second blizzard (Snoverkill) crippled the region. Together with a record-setting December snowstorm (Snowpocalypse), these giant snowstorms helped make the winter of 2009-2010 the snowiest on record in Washington with 56.1 inches.

Below are some of my favorite and most significant visuals from Snowmageddon, which help tell its story.

The accumulated snowfall — measured in feet


Snowmageddon snowfall totals from February 2010. (Katie Wheatley)

The storm unloaded 16 to 35 inches or about a foot and a half to three feet of snow across the region — an astronomical amount. The real estate covered by at least 20 to 30 inches is remarkable.

The forecast was good, and the storm earned a fitting name


The forecast and naming poll for the February 2010 storm Snowmageddon. (Capital Weather Gang)

We predicted a broad swath of 16 to 26 inches, which was a good call, even if a few spots boomed into the 30-inch range. Capital Weather Gang readers were responsible for naming the storm Snowmageddon, a moniker that went viral and was even referenced by then-President Barack Obama.

So much moisture


National radar before Snowmageddon arrived in Washington in February 2010. (Intellicast.com)

The national radar the day before the storm arrived showed its massive footprint. Fueled by subtropical moisture from the tropical Pacific (it was an El Niño year) and Gulf of Mexico, it was simply an enormous storm.

The radar was a thing of beauty for snow lovers


Radar of Snowmageddon in Washington, Feb. 5-6, 2010. (Weather Underground)

Like an Energizer bunny, the snow kept going and going and going, falling for about 30 hours. Dulles International Airport reported heavy snow for every observation from 6 p.m. Feb. 5 until 8 a.m. Feb. 6.

Frosty white from space


Satellite view of snow in the Mid-Atlantic after Snowmageddon in February 2010. (NASA)

From space, satellite imagery showed Washington covered in white. For Mid-Atlantic snow lovers, there was extra satisfaction in the snow cutting off from New York City to the north. Washington got a great storm while Boston was shut out.

A shark of a storm


A snow sculpture of a shark, created by Walter Crain in Falls Church, Va., during Snowmageddon in February 2010. (Walter Crain)

Longtime Capital Weather Gang reader Walter-in-Falls-Church (Walter Crain) created a masterpiece shark snow sculpture.

The Capitol in snow


The Capitol draped in snow during Snowmageddon in February 2010. (Ian Livingston)

The Mall in snow


The national Mall in Snowmageddon in February 2010. (Ian Livingston)

Buried under two feet in Oakton


Digging out from Snowmageddon in Oakton, Va., in February 2010. (Kevin Ambrose)

A beautiful short film of the storm

Read more

Capital Weather Gang’s Snowmageddon archive

The incredible output of Snowmageddon

Snowmageddon, five years later: The first of two Mid-Atlantic blizzards in February 2010

Remember when D.C. actually got snow? Eight years ago today, Snowmageddon hit.