Heavy snow falls on the Mall in Washington on Feb. 12, 2006. (Kevin Ambrose)

Crank up the snowblowers?

More than 750 Capital Weather Gang readers participated in our contest to predict how much snow will fall this winter at Reagan National Airport, and they seem enthusiastic about the prospects for flakes.

On average, CWG readers predicted 18.8 inches of snow this winter, which is several inches more than the recent 30-year average of 15.4 inches. The median snowfall predicted was 17.6 inches.

Reader predictions ranged from no snow to 80.9 inches. Forecasts for no snow have already proved wrong, as 0.3 inches fell Wednesday morning. But for the four contest entrants who called for more than 56.1 inches, the most on record (set in the winter of 2009-2010), we will really have to get dumped on in the weeks and months ahead.

Most participants predicted slightly above normal amounts in the range of 15 to 25 inches, although a substantial number also predicted slightly below normal totals from 5 to 15 inches.


CWG reader forecasts for a slightly snowier than normal winter echoed the idea put forward by many meteorologists from private forecast companies. However, they depart from the prediction of CWG meteorologists, who have called for near-normal to slightly below normal snowfall.

At the end of winter, we’ll evaluate how forecasts did and recognize reader winners.

While the snow season is off to a slow start, and there are no clear signs of a substantial storm over the next week or so, there’s still plenty of time. Historically, January and February are our snowiest months and, in recent years, March has also been somewhat snowy.