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May 14, 2010

Baltimore snowiest winters ranked

The latest edition of the "Sterling Reporter," the seasonal report from forecasters at the National Weather Service's Baltimore-Washington forecast office in Sterling, Va., includes their ranking of the snowiest winters in Baltimore and Washington.

The rankings appear to take into account adjustments the NWS had to make in the snow measurements at BWI, which were found to have been done improperly by an FAA contractor. So put an asterisk on the numbers for the top storm.

It's interesting to note that the top three storms since record-keeping for Baltimore began in the 19th century, have all occurred in the last 15 years. And, notice how much less snow Washington has received than Baltimore. Only 40 miles up the road and we seem to get significantly snowier winters. 


1. 2009-10:  77.0 inches

2. 1995-96:  62.5 inchesSnow 2010 Baltimore

3. 2002-03:  58.2 inches

4. 1963-64:  51.8 inches

5. 1898-99:  51.1 inches

6. 1960-61:  46.5 inches

7. 1921-22:  44.4 inches

8. 1966-67:  43.4 inches

9. 1957-58:  43.0 inches

10. 1978-79:  42.5 inches 


1. 2009-10:  56.1 inchesCar trouble blizzard Baltimore

2. 1898-99:  54.4 inches

3. 1995-96:  46.0 inches

4. 1921-22:  44.5 inches

5. 1891-92:  41.7 inches

6. 1904-05:  41.0 inches

7. 1957-58:  40.4 inches

8. 2002-03:  40.4 inches

9. 1960-61:  40.3 inches

10. 1910-11:  39.8 inches

(SUN PHOTOS: Top/Kim Hairston; Bottom/Karl Merton Ferron, 2010)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 11:35 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Winter weather


A couple of reasons there might be so much difference between the snow totals between BWI and National is Nat'l is located at sea level, right on the Potomac, while BWI is quite a distance from any body of water, and at an elevation of almost 150 feet. The snowfall at Dulles (approx. 310 ft. elev, and also not close to any major body of water) is much closer to the recorded snowfall at BWI.

Many of the commentators at the WaPo's 'Capital Weather Gang' brought out those differences during and after the Feb. snow 'events'. Those located just two or three miles inland from National recorded much more snow than that recorded at National. Some speculated that the river kept the air temps a bit warmer, thus precip early fell as rain (reducing the snow total), the first snow falling on that wet ground melted (reducing the snow total), and the river caused the air temps to be a bit warmer earlier after the snow, sometimes causing some of the precip to turn back to rain (reducing the snow total).

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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