Thursday, February 4, 2010

Washington's Top 10 February Snow Totals

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With 3.3" of snow recorded so far this February and a major storm widely expected this weekend, how much would it take to break into the all-time top 10 of Washington February snow totals? Generally, it takes at least one large storm to reach the 17.2" minimum for the top 10.

In 1958, #10 on the list, 14.4" fell on Feb. 15-16. The only other measurable snow that month was 2.8" on the 1st. In December of that winter, 11.4" had already fallen on Dec. 3-4, and the season wound up with another double digit month in March spread over 3 separate storms. That was enough to put 1957-58 into 7th place for seasonal totals.

In 1961, #9, 3 storms provided 8.3" on Feb. 3-4, 6.4" on the 8th, and 3.3" on the 12th. No other measurable snow fell the rest of the month, however, and the temperature reached 70° twice, on the 19th and the 27th.

February 1934, #8, also had no single storm over 10": 8.1" on the 1st-2nd, 1.5" on the 5th-6th, 1.8" on the 19th, and a few other small amounts.

February 1936, #6, saw 14.4" on the 7th, but the remainder of the total was made up of 1.8" on the 18th and scattered minor amounts on 3 other days.

In 1983, there was a major storm (possibly an analog to the current one) with 16.6" on the 10th-11th. The only other measurable snow was 4.4" on the 6th. That was enough to put that year into 4th place.

The 2nd and 3rd place years, 1979 and 2003, had the infamous President's Day Storms I and II, 18.7" on the 18th-19th and 16.7" on the 15th-18th, respectively.

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