Is DC Becoming Snow-Free?

If you were in Washington, DC during last year's winter, you know that it was essentially a snow-free season. Early in December we saw a few inches stick to the ground, but other than that it was mostly ice and rain.

The Capital Weather Gang over at the Washington Post have been tracking the gradual decline in annual snow fall in the Washington region over the last century. Their analysis is pretty surprising.

Near the turn of the 20th century, Washington was receiving an average of 23'' of snow per year. In the last 15 year, that number has decreased to just 14''. They predict that our average snow fall will continue to decline by 1'' every 15 years into the future.

There have been other periods in the past when snow fall declined significantly in Washington. From 1919 to 1933, snow fall averaged about 13.7'' inches per year, lower than our current average. During that same period, however, there were more years of 15'' snow fall than we've had over the past 15 years. Seven times snow fell by 15'' or more between 1919 and 1933, over the past 15 years, this has only happened 3 times.

The dramatic decrease in snow averages over the past century is displayed in the graph below, created by the Capital Weather Gang. The weather experts don't explain what may have caused the decrease in snow fall, they simply suggest possible causes like urban heat island, global warming, natural weather patters and changes in the observing locations.

Read the full Capital Weather Gang post HERE.

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