Will Washington’s snow drought continue?

The graph above shows the amount of total snow observed each winter at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport over the past two decades. D.C. averages 15.4 inches of snow per season. Three spikes appear during the stormiest winters: 1995-1996, 2002-2003 and 2009-2010. (Courtesy of NWS/NOAA)

Dave Dildine, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Washington’s snow drought continues to have many area residents wondering whether this season will be as snowless as last winter.

Warm temperatures and mild weather will likely keep snow-lovers waiting through at least the middle of the month.

Washington averages 15.4 inches of snow per season. Normally by Jan. 1, about 3 inches of snow has fallen. So far this winter, measurable snow has not been observed at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Last year, only 2 inches of snow was recorded for the entire season.

Since 1887, Washington has experienced six winters during which fewer than 3 inches of snow fell. Since record-keeping began, two winters saw only a trace of snow.

Over the past 20 Washington winters, 16 have featured below-average snowfall. The outliers, however, have been blockbuster winters boasting snow totals well above average thanks to powerful storms.

During the 2009-2010 winter, a barrage of nor’easters and record-breaking snowstorms led to four times the normal seasonal snowfall. According to the National Weather Service, Washington experiences a 12-inch-or-more snowstorm about once every eight years.

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