2010-11 Snowfall Contest opens
With the return of cold weather, last Friday's flurries, and the mayhem that resulted on the roads north and west of Baltimore, the winter weather season is undeniably here. So let's have some fun with it.
The Friday Flurrimageddon put a TRACE of snow on the official season's tally at BWI-Marshall. That's one parameter for guessing the season's total accumulations. Last year's all-time Baltimore record (adjusted) total of 77 inches provides the other. We're not likely to see that again in my lifetime.
In between, however, there is a wide range of possibilities for the new season. You can start with the long-term (30-year) average of 18 inches for BWI and work backwards, or forwards. You can calculate using temperature trends in the Pacific Ocean. (These La Nina winters tend to result in more mixed-precipitation storms for us, and more storms out of the Midwest that pack less moisture than the big coastal nor'easters.)
You can go with the big forecasting outfits, most of whom seem to be predicting a more nearly average winter. Or you can strike out on your own. Make a guess using your age, door number, or the number of hybrid cars you count on the way to work.
Whatever your reasoning, or system, submit your guess for the total snow accumulation this winter season at BWI-Marshall Airport. The meteorological winter ends officially on Feb. 28, but we all know the March can bring a flakey surprise, as it did in 2009. So let's cut off the count on March 15.
Post your entry, in inches for the entire season, as a comment here. I'll keep a tally, and the person coming closest without going over will win some fabulous Baltimore Sun swag of my choosing. People related to me, and time-travelers, will be disqualified.
UPDATE, Dec. 15: Entry period will close with the first measurable snowfall of the season at BWI. That could come Thursday. Or not.
UPDATE: Dec. 16: With snow in the air and on the ground at BWI, we hereby close the entries for the 2010-11 snow contest. Thanks to all who have entered. And good luck!
Let the snow bands and whiteouts and wintry mixes begin!