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Snow Lovers: Our Window is Closing Fast

Matt Ross @ 1:00 AM

Let me be blunt right out of the gate. We have 3 weeks left to see a decent snowfall(particularly inside the beltway) before our mathematical chances are reduced substantially. Fortunately, despite this weekend's miss, we are entering a pattern that supports this possibility(see forecast below for more detail on possible late week event), and I expect that in the next 2-3 weeks we will see several chances for snow before our time runs out.

Today and tomorrow will be seasonable with Wednesday a bit cooler than today and temps in the low 40's. There is a slight chance of some snowshowers overnight tonight into early Wednesday, but it does not look like a big deal. Moving to the end of the week, there is a snow possibility for Thursday into Friday that is starting to be indicated by some of the models as well as the overall pattern. Unlike some of our other snows this year, this one looks to be coming from our south and the main question with this event is whether it is too suppressed for the precipitation to make it up here. As there is still great uncertainty with this event, please stay tuned. We will be on top of it.

If we look at the past 30 winters, DCA has seen 46.1" of snowfall in March/April. That is an average of 1.5" a season and about 1" shy of the 117 year historical March/April average of 2.6". However, only 3.9" or 8% of this snowfall has occurred after March 15th. So a staggering 92% of our "spring" snowfall has occurred in the 1st half of March going back to 1974-75. Even if we go back a total of 50 winters, or back to 1954-55, we average only 0.6" after March 15th. In fact to find our last 4"+ snowstorm after March 15th we have to go back 41 years to March 30-31, 1964 when we received 5.8". So while there is precedent, I would not hold my breath. Clearly, our climatology is strongly unfavorable for late season snowfall. As such, I will root for snow and cold until March 15th at which point I will start practicing my golf swing and rooting for sun.

Pictured: Cars buried in snow following the Presidents' Day Weekend storm of 2003. By photographer Kevin Ambrose

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