Big Snow Storm in DC

I’m getting jealous of Washington DC. They are going to get their 3rd snowstorm in a week. In Toledo, we don’t even have a full inch of snow on the ground. In fact, this winter I have not even shoveled the driveway. I haven’t had a chance to go cross country skiing because there hasn’t been enough snow. OK, time to stop complaining.

This is a storm to watch. It is a Nor’easter that is going to explode once it hits the ocean. The ocean acts as an energy source. Once the low pressure system hits the coast, the central pressure drops which causes the winds to blow stronger and which causes moisture to be pulled in off of the Atlantic Ocean. A Nor’easter is called a Nor’easter because the wind comes around the low pressure system and from the Northeast off of the ocean.

I have been in a couple large storms in the DC area. The top 5 storms in DC on record are:

1. January 27-28, 1922 – 28 inches
2. February 11-13, 1899 – 20.5 inches
3. February 18-19, 1979 – 18.7 inches
4. January 6-8, 1996 – 17.1 inches
5. February 15-18, 2003 – 16.7 inches

This storm has the potential to make the top 5 snow storms in DC.

For the 4th heaviest snowfall, I lived in Odenton, MD which is outside of DC. I worked at the University of Maryland. The 17.1 inches of snow parallized the area for an entire week. No one had shovels. I shoveled my car out with a small garbage can. But, I could not get out of my apartment complex parking lot because no one plowed the parking lot for 5 days. It was great staying home from work. I love a snow day, always have.

In 1995 I was driving from Ann Arbor, MI to Annapolis, MD to see my wife. It was our first year of marriage and with lived in different cities because I was still in graduate school at the University of Michigan and my wife had a job in DC. I thought I was going to beat the storm being a meteorologist and all. It normally takes 8 hours to make the drive. But, when I got into the mountains of Pennsylvania, the snow started to come down. I had white knuckle driving for he rest of the trip. It took me a total of 13 hours. I arrived in MD just as the sun was rising. I was almost out of gas and all of the gas stations were closed. It was pretty scary. But, I found a gas station and made.

Another time I was in the DC area for a meeting and stayed at Kathleen’s Uncle and Aunt’s house in Annapolis, MD. I was planning to leave in the morning. When I woke up, the snow was pounding down. I hurried up and got in my car and started to drive. Luckily I did. Annapolis got 17 inches of snow. I would have been there for another 3 days. On that trip, the snow was pounding down on the ridges as I drove through Maryland. On one, cars and trucks started to slip and had trouble making up the hill. I was lucky that some of us were able to get traction and get by. I love winter weather!

Sometimes a Nor’Easter will produce a pretty good amount of snow in Toledo. But, from this storm, I don’t think we will. It looks like this storm is going to move out to sea and not hit the Northeast much either. And, sometimes in Toledo we will get lake effect snow off of Lake Erie from a Nor’easter. But, this time, Lake Erie is pretty much frozen over.