The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

D.C. finally gets first snow of the winter, fifth-latest on record

A conversational dusting to 1 inch across the region accumulated mainly on grass

A dusting of snow frosts the shrubs in front of the Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg, Va., on Wednesday. (Mark Miller/The Washington Post)
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Snow was a no-show in and around D.C. during December and January, and prospects for more seem dim for the foreseeable future, with a major warm-up expected to arrive next week after a short-lived cold blast. But for one brief moment, the DMV finally has a measurable snow on the ground, or at least on the grass.

A weak area of low pressure dropped a dusting to 1 inch across the region early Wednesday, mainly between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Because air and pavement temperatures were mostly at or above freezing, the snow accumulated on grass, cars and some elevated surfaces, but not on roads.

After D.C.’s warmest January in 73 years, we predict a very mild February, too

Snow must accumulate at least 0.1 inches to be considered measurable. The wait for measurable snow this winter was reaching into record territory, according to statistics compiled by Capital Weather Gang’s Ian Livingston:

  • The 0.4 inches recorded at Reagan National Airport, D.C.’s official observing station, was the fifth-latest measurable snow on record for the nation’s capital. At Dulles International Airport, the 0.4 inches recorded was the latest measurable snow on record (the previous latest was Jan. 27 in 2009). At Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, the 0.2 inches recorded was the third-latest on record.
  • For now, 1973 will remain the year of Washington’s latest measurable snow on record. It wasn’t until Feb. 23 of that year that D.C. recorded 0.1 inches of snow, which turned out to be the only measurable snow of the season.
  • This was also Washington’s 12th-longest snowless streak on record, with no measurable snow recorded for 325 days going back to last winter, until today.
  • The 0.4 inches of snow at Reagan National Airport is the eighth-least amount of snow in Washington this late in the season.

D.C. was joined by other major cities in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast that snapped record snowless streaks overnight. The 0.4 inches in Central Park was New York City’s latest measurable snow on record, while the 0.3 inches in Philadelphia was that city’s second-latest measurable snow on record.

Here is a selection of reported snow totals from across the region:

  • Reagan National Airport: 0.4 inches
  • BWI Airport: 0.2 inches
  • Dulles Airport: 0.4 inches
  • National Zoo: 0.4 inches
  • Laurel: 0.5 inches
  • Germantown: 0.5 inches
  • Potomac: 0.5 inches
  • Silver Spring: 0.2 inches
  • Chantilly: 1 inch
  • Fairfax: 0.8 inches
  • Dale City: 0.6 inches
  • Falls Church: 0.6 inches
  • Ashburn: 0.5 inches
  • Manassas: 0.4 inches
  • Vienna: 0.4 inches
  • Herndon: 0.3 inches
  • Reston: 0.3 inches
  • Leesburg: 0.3 inches
  • Alexandria: 0.2 inches

And now, your snow pictures!