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animated snowflakesBiggest Snowstorms on Record animated snowflakes

The biggest unofficial snow (before official records began) was in January 1772 when 36 inches (3 feet) fell in the Washington - Baltimore area. It has been called the Washington-Jefferson snowstorm because it was recorded in both of their diaries.

Top 15 Snowstorms on record in Washington, DC  and Baltimore are -
 
Washington, DC   (1885-2000)
 
Baltimore, MD   (1891-2000)
1  January 27-28, 1922 ... 28 inches  1  February 15-18, 2003 ... 28.2 inches
2  February 11-13, 1899 ... 20.5 inches  2  January 27-29, 1922 ... 26.5 inches
3  February 18-19, 1979 ... 18.7 inches  3  February 11-12, 1983 ... 22.8 inches
4  January 6-8, 1996 ... 17.1 inches  4  January 7-8, 1996 ... 22.5 inches
5  February 15-18, 2003 ... 16.7 inches  5  March 29-30, 1942 ... 22.0 inches
6  February 11-12, 1983 ...16.6 inches 6  February 11-14, 1899 ... 21.4 inches
7  February 15-16, 1958 ... 14.4 inches 7  February 18-19, 1979 ... 20.0 inches
8  February 7, 1936 ... 14.4 inches 8  March 15-18, 1892 ... 16.0 inches
9  February 16-18, 1900 ... 14.3 inches 9  February 15-16, 1958 ... 15.5 inches
10  January 29-30, 1966 ... 13.8 inches 10  January 25, 2000 ... 14.9 inches
11  February 8, 1899 ... 13.7 inches 11  December 11-12, 1960 ... 14.1 inches
12  February 2-4, 1886 ... 12.4 inches 12  March 5-7, 1962 ... 13.0 inches
13  December 17, 1932 ... 12.0 inches 13  January 22, 1987 ...12.3 inches
14  March 27-28, 1891 ... 12.0 inches 14  January 30-31, 1966 ... 12.1 inches
15  November 11, 1987 ... 11.5 inches* 15  February 16-18, 1900 ...12.0 inches
*Also 11.5 inches on March 28-29, 1942, January 29-30, 1930, and December 22-23, 1908 


Ice Storms
The winter of 1993-1994 was one of the iciest winters on record. Repeated storms from January into early March produced between 19 and 23 days of icy precipitation over the greater metropolitan area. The worst storm struck on February 10-11, 1994 from Fredericksburg into southern Maryland. Freezing rain caused a thick glaze of ice across trees, power and phone lines and roads. Travel was extremely hazardous. Trees and utility lines fell under the weight of the ice. Some people were left without power and heat for up to two weeks due to the extent of the damage. This storm warranted a Presidential Disaster declaration for a swath of devastation from ice that stretched from Tennessee to Delaware. Damage to Maryland was estimated at over $20 million. 

In February 1998, an ice storm hit Skyline Drive. Up to five inches of ice acculumated in some areas. So many trees came down that Shenandoah National Park had to be closed for up to two months to clear the debris!  In January 1999, an ice storm hit the northwest suburbs of Washington, DC.  After a half to three-quarter inch of ice accumulated on trees and wires, 40 mph winds was enough to bring many of them down. Trees fell on cars, houses, utility lines and roads. About a half a million customers were without power and 800 pedestrians were reported injured from falls on ice. Washington Hospital treated 250 patients for storm-related injuries on the 15th. Montgomery County, MD particularly hard. Some people were without power for a week. 30 school buses slipped off the road. 

HJ/DMW 



noaa logoLast Updated 12/30/2005

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Page last modified: December 28, 2005 8:55 AM
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