January 23 2023
This is the anniversary of the largest snowstorm in the Mid-Atlantic region, which came as the first accumulating snow for many locations. In Baltimore the first measurable snow (over a trace) in the winter of 2015 to 2016 began on January 22 and lasted into the 23. The storm total at BWI was 29.2 inches, marking the largest snowstorm in history, dating back to 1883. This same winter is also tied for the 6th latest first snow on record.
This morning, some snow fell in the northern suburbs, but the city and airport remain in a snow drought. It has brought up many questions I would like to answer in this report:
Has there ever been a winter with NO SNOW?
What are the lowest snow winters, and is there a trend?
What are the latest first snow dates? Follow Up, How much snow fell in those winters?
Has there been a Winter with NO Snow?
However, there was one winter with UNDER 1” in 1949 to 1950.
What are the lowest snow winters?
There are A LOT in Baltimore. Please note that I use this city because I worked on TV there for 14 years, it is central to the Mid-Atlantic region I cover, AND it has a long history of weather data dating back to 1883.
To simplify this, I made Two Seasonal Snow Charts to show the years broken down by Under 5 inches AND Between 5 and 10 Inches.
Note: The total historical seasonal average is over 20” snow. When we look at all winters UNDER 10”, or less than half the seasonal average, there are 27 seasons.
Out of 139 seasons on record, this calculates to near 19%. The odds of this happening are a little better than 1 in 6 winters.
Winters With Under 5 Inches Of Snow
There are 13 winters, with the earliest dating back to 1989 to 1890. The most recent was 2019 to 2020.
1 Winter UNDER 1” = 1949 to 1950
3 Winters UNDER 2” = 1972 to 1973; 2011 to 2012; AND 2019 to 2020.
Winters With Snow BETWEEN 5 and 10 Inches
There are 14 winters in this category. Please see my notes below. There are some interesting stats about the winters that followed.
List Of Low Snow Winters
This is another way to show the same information. Please read below for some interesting winters that followed.
The Top 3 Most Snow Winters Followed Some Of The Lowest
#1 Snow Season
- 9.1” Winter 2008 to 2009
- 77” Winter 2009 to 2010
#2 Snow Season
- 8.2” Winter 1994 to 1995
- 62.5” Winter 1995 to 1996
#3 Snow Season AFTER TWO LOW WINTERS
- 8.7” Winter 2000 to 2001
- 2.3” Winter 2001 to 2002
- 58.1” Winter 2002 to 2003
- 1.8” Winter 2001 to 2012
- 8.0” Winter 2012 to 2013
- 39” Winter 2013 to 2014 (almost 2x Average)
Is There A Trend?
Well, there seems to be an equal scattering of low snow winters. However, the last 30 years has shown the biggest bounce backs following the low snow winters.
Snowfall Average Per Decade
I’ve shown this chart a lot, but it is relevant again here.
1950s Were the LOWEST AVERAGE SNOW SEASONS
1960s Were the HIGHEST AVERAGE SNOW SEASONS
What were the Latest First Snow Dates AND What was the total in those seasons?
Let’s elaborate that measurable snow is over a Trace. Many winters have had snow that melted or was not enough to measure.
This past winter, BWI did record 2 Dates with a Trace Of Snow:
- December 18, 2022
- December 23, 2022
I am writing this report on January 23, 2023. As of today there is still no measurable snow, so we rank 5th on the all time latest list.
Here is the list relevant this date and what fell in those winters.
So, is it time to call this winter over? Hardly!
2016 was a rare exception, and not much fell AFTER that record storm.
Top 7 Latest Dates:
3 Winters = ABOVE 20” Average. Two over 30” (50% Above Average)
3 Winters = BELOW 10” (1/2 Average)
This Winter = Still In Progress.
Faith in the Flakes
This is the motto that began with my son in 2009 and is very fitting now. There is plenty of winter left.
I have one more chart to show that average winter brings the bulk of our snow in February. This has nothing to do with any NOAA Outlook. Simply the Law of Averages based on observed data.
Signs Of Hope
It did snow this morning in the northern areas. This video I posted on Facebook has many comments supporting the wide range of where it snowed just inland north and west of Baltimore.
I shared this map of our 2016 Record Snowstorm and the response was overwhelming.
There are a lot of people that do love or appreciate a snow event. I am with you and I have never hid my preference for winter. I do want to be clear that my forecasts and reports are to share what I see and am thinking. I do not want to disappoint you or myself. So the talk of the next event this Wednesday will be honoring that pledge for all of us.
We are in rare company, but there is plenty of data to support time ahead for winter to show up.
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SNOWSTIX – Available Now
STEM Assemblies/In School Fields Trips Are Back
My Winter Outlook: Not A Typical La Niña!
I see many factors to support colder influence with multiple systems. Early and later in winter. Check it out.
Also See The Winter Outlook Series:
Farmer’s Almanac Comparison
Triple Dip La Niña Winter
CONNECTION TO WINTER?
If you want a snowy winter, this is what you might want to look for in the rest of the tropical season. (You might be seeing a lot of commercial snow removal people out this Winter).
Wooly Bear Caterpillars
Click to see Top 20 and MORE
Normals And Records: Maryland and Baltimore Climate History