Top 4 strangest D.C. weather events in recent history

Residents of Washington, D.C. , were surely surprised to see that on Saturday, October 29, there is a slight chance of snow predicted in the metro area. This is according to information provided from the Washington Post and the European weather model.

Snow in D.C. in October is extremely rare and certainly very strange. In fact, through 140 years of recorded D.C. weather through 2010 – that’s 4,340 October days – there has been accumulated snow just five times.

But it wouldn’t be the first or only strange D.C. weather event or occurrence in recent history. There have been plenty of head-scratching, awe-inducing Washington, D.C., weather stories over the years. Here are a few of the rarest and oddest of the bunch that should stick out in recent memory for local residents.

February 2010 blizzard

Ah, yes, Snowmageddon. The February 2010 blizzard that struck throughout the Mid-Atlantic states was one for the record books. Depending on where you lived in the D.C. metro region, you were hunkering down with 20-36 inches of snow (some heroic local residents such as myself ran live blogs about the blizzard).

Of course, just days later, round two of the blizzard struck, making the total snowfall in the week up to 50 inches in some locales, approximately three times the average for the typical winter in mere days. The week-long double blizzard produced the most snowfall on record during one year in D.C.’s history recorded through 1884.

January 1994 ice storms

January 1994 was one of the coldest D.C. months in decades, and the area was pelted by ongoing ice storms that wreaked havoc throughout the region. Roads were covered with thick sheets of ice, tens of thousands of homes were left without power, and schools were closed for a week. There were between 19 and 23 days of ice precipitation from January to March in the D.C. region. Some single ice storms, lasting for several days on end, left devastating ice sheets up to 3 inches thick.

Tropical Storm Agnes 1972

D.C. is not used to dealing with major hurricanes and tropical storms, and Agnes in 1972 produced some very wet results and heavy flooding throughout the region. Throughout the storm, Dulles Airport received 13.65 inches of rain, and within 24 hours at Reagan National Airport, over 7 inches of rain were recorded, nearly breaking an all-time area record dating back to 1928.

Record-breaking hot summers

July 2011 was the hottest month in Washington, D.C., history. It broke the longstanding record dating all the way back to … July 2010. This July, the average temperature was 4.7 degrees hotter than the 1981-2010 normal and 5.3 degrees hotter than the 1971-2000 normal. D.C. residents can probably expect another set of all-time highs for next summer.

This article was first published by Jake Emen on Yahoo! News on October 26, 2011

Author: Jake Emen

I’m Jake, and I’m your host on this journey. I'm the man doing the eating and the talking around here. I’m a writer based outside of Washington, D.C., and I'm also talking whiskey, local events, travel, and other assorted misadventures. Follow me on the Tweet Machine - @ManTalkFood, or send an email to jake [at] mantalkfood.com.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *