A look back at ‘Snowmageddon’ 8 years later

A tree falls onto a road under the weight of 28 inches of snow in Reston during a record-breaking snowstorm in February 6, 2010. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Under the weight of 28 inches of snow, a tree fell onto a Reston, Virginia, road during a record-breaking snowstorm on Feb. 6, 2010. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
The Reston Parkway is empty of cars during the height of Snowmageddon in February 2010.  (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
The Reston Parkway was empty of cars during the height of “Snowmageddon” in February 2010. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
The heavy, wet snow that fell during the Snowmageddon storm in February 2010 downed numerous trees in Fairfax County, prolonging plowing efforts.  (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
The heavy, wet snow that fell during “Snowmageddon” in February 2010 downed numerous trees in Fairfax County, prolonging plowing efforts. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
A cult-de-sac in northern Fairfax County is buried under more than two feet of snow during the big February 2010 storm. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
A cul-de-sac in northern Fairfax County is buried under more than 2 feet of snow during the big February 2010 storm. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
A family walks down a snow-covered street during the February 2010 storm. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
A family walks down a snow-covered street during the February 2010 storm. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
It took many days for residential streets to get plowed after the weekend Snowmageddon storm. A second storm several days compounded cleanup efforts. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
It took many days for residential streets to get plowed after “Snowmageddon.” A subsequent storm compounded cleanup efforts. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
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A tree falls onto a road under the weight of 28 inches of snow in Reston during a record-breaking snowstorm in February 6, 2010. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
The Reston Parkway is empty of cars during the height of Snowmageddon in February 2010.  (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
The heavy, wet snow that fell during the Snowmageddon storm in February 2010 downed numerous trees in Fairfax County, prolonging plowing efforts.  (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
A cult-de-sac in northern Fairfax County is buried under more than two feet of snow during the big February 2010 storm. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
A family walks down a snow-covered street during the February 2010 storm. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
It took many days for residential streets to get plowed after the weekend Snowmageddon storm. A second storm several days compounded cleanup efforts. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON — Exactly eight years ago, the D.C. area was in the sights of one of its largest snowstorms on record.

From Feb. 5 to Feb. 6, 2010, up to 2 feet of snow fell during a stormy period that would later be dubbed “Snowmageddon.” A heavy weekend snowstorm was followed by a full-fledged blizzard several days later, bringing seasonal snow totals to all-time highs.

It was the District’s fourth-largest snowstorm, with 17.8 inches of snow measured at Reagan National Airport. The western suburbs were buried in deeper snow, with a record-breaking 32.4 inches falling at Dulles International Airport.

The weekend storm was not technically a blizzard, but the nor’easter that followed several days later was, with winds gusting over 35 miles per hour during an extended period of heavy snow. The entire state of Maryland was placed under a blizzard warning, along with northern Virginia and the District.

The succession of coastal storms during the winter broke all-time seasonal snowfall records. At Reagan National Airport, a grand total of 56.1 inches fell. The seasonal total of 73.2 inches at Dulles shattered the previous record of 61.9 inches, set at the end of the infamous 1996 winter.

Snowmageddon’s weekend storm ranks near the top of the list of D.C. biggest snowstorms, just below the notorious 1922 Knickerbocker storm, the blizzard of 1899 and the 1979 President’s Day storm. The nor’easter’s snow output for the District matched the total observed during the blizzard of 2016.

Oddly, nearly all of D.C.’s top 10 snowstorms occurred on a Friday or on a weekend.

D.C.’s Top 10 Snowstorms:

1) 28 inches; Jan. 27–29, 1922

2) 20 inches; Feb. 12–14, 1899

3) 18.7 inches; Feb. 18–19, 1979

4) 17.8 inches; Jan. 22–23, 2016

5) 17.8 inches; Feb. 5–6, 2010

6) 17.3 inches; Jan. 7–9, 1996

7) 16.6 inches; Feb. 10–11, 1983

8) 16.4 inches; Dec. 18-19, 2009

9) 16.4 inches; Feb. 16–18, 2003

10) 14.4 inches; Feb. 7, 1936, and Feb. 15–16, 1958


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