LJ Kirk the winner in the 2010-2011 snow contest
With the vernal equinox approaching on Sunday, I think it's time to close the 2010-2011 Sun Snow Contest and declare a winner.
The official tally from the National Weather Service station at BWI-Marshall Airport came to 14.4 inches of snow from Dec. 1 through today. That was 3.8 inches below the 30-year average of 18.2 inches for Baltimore. Here's how it played out:
Days with flakes: 24
Days with measurable snow: 8
Days with only a trace: 16
December: 1.2 inches
January: 10.7 inches
February: 2.5 inches
Biggest storm: 7.6 inches on Wednesday Jan. 26, the one that changed rain over to snow and ice in a flash, catching thousands of Baltimore and Washington commuters on slick and snowy roads, during the evening rush.
While it's still possible to see more measurable snow as we move through the end of March and even into early April, we're going to call the question today. If we do get more snow, we'll just have to award another cheap prize.
So, the winner of the (First) Annual Sun Snow Contest is Laura Kirk, of Owings Mills, a technical writer whose 14-inch prediction came closest without going over the BWI total.
"Wow! How cool is that!" she said when told of her good fortune. Asked how she pulled it off, she said:
"You mean, beyond sheer luck? Actually, you gave me the strategy. You mentioned in a blog entry before the contest began that this was a La Nina year and that typically those years are lower in snowfall.
"And, I had a feeling that after last year's huge overage, we just wouldn't get that much snow this year. I figured we'd have three to four 4-inchers. Not quite how we got to 14.4", but oh well."
"So winning is especially sweet for two reasons: 1) I didn't win the snow pile melt contest last winter...; 2) in that hellacious snow we had at the end of January ... I was hit by a pickup with a plow sliding around a turn (no injuries). This is my revenge on the snow. Hah. Take that."
Close, but ineligible for the cigar, were Paul Mittermeier, at 13.7 inches, and "Andrew," at a heartbreaking 14.5 inches.
WAY off the mark were our low-baller, "Ms. Nash," at 7 inches, and Ken Marsh who, at 65 inches, clearly didn't think he got enough snow last year.
Congratulations to Laura Kirk; your fabulous prize is in the mail (as soon as I get an address). And thanks to all who entered. We look forward to entries from you all for the "90-Degree Daze Contest" this summer, and to next year's exciting "Second Annual Sun Snow Contest."
Think Hot! Think Snow!
(PHOTOS: Top: Pablo Monsivais, AP; Bottom: The Sun, Gene Sweeney, Jr.)