The sun is shining, and we’re embarking on our first lengthier stretch of springlike weather. No better time than to take another dive into winter’s snow!
In early February, we brought you news that the Washington area boasted the most snowfall among cities along Interstate 95 north to Boston. That was still the case three weeks later. Then normalcy returned. And by normalcy, I mean a lack of D.C. snow.
In the past three weeks, our area has seen very little of snow. The city has only picked up 0.3 inches. Basically every location to our north and east saw more snow than we have, and often way more. The region from New York City to Boston picked up one to two feet.
The odds were never great for us to top our snowy rivals to the north such as Boston. Back in early February, I pointed out that even in years that Washington led through that point, 75 percent still ended up trailing Boston when it was all over. Never doubt New England will mount a fourth quarter comeback when it comes to snow.
Perhaps due to some of my own mocking of snow lovers in Boston earlier this winter, that city has picked up exactly Washington’s seasonal snowfall total of 16.9 inches in the past three weeks alone. They’re more than 10 inches ahead of us, with 27.4 inches on the season officially.
Although the Washington region has seen less snow than anyone in the Northeast corridor over recent weeks, we remain atop the leader board when it comes to percentage of normal snowfall.
Although places such as New York City, Providence and Boston picked up 50 percent or more of their winter 2018-2019 snowfall since the last week of February, those locations were in a deeper hole to begin with compared with normal. Even in Milton, Mass. — where the Blue Hill Observatory is located — an impressive 24.5 inches of snow over the past three weeks is only enough to bump them to 73 percent of normal snowfall.
Looking ahead, it could be that parts of the urban northeast don’t see any more snow. Historically, the remaining snow season is short, and the upcoming weather pattern isn’t particularly promising.
Colder air arrives later in the weekend, and it probably hangs out a few days to a week or so. There may even be an East Coast storm risk at some point next week, right around the spring equinox on March 20. In Washington, we don’t have to go back far for springtime snow, as we saw it happen just last year. However, this late, it takes some luck (good or bad, depending on your snow views).
In the past 30 years, Washington’s final accumulating snow (0.1 inches or greater) comes March 1, with the latest occurrence being April 7 in 2017 when 0.4 inches accumulated. Even in colder locations west or north, Dulles’s average for the final accumulation of the season is March 10, as is Baltimore’s. Both of those locations have seen snow as late as April 9 in recent decades.
Farther to the north, there is still at least a little time to go. Philadelphia’s final snowfall average is March 17. New York City’s is March 16. And in Boston, we’re talking March 27. In Boston, about half of the past 30 years have seen April snow. In 1997, 22.4 inches fell on the 1st, and in 1993, 2.1 inches was recorded on the 27th.