News & Politics

Where Is the Snow? DC Could Break Its No-Flakes Record.

We might be headed for the worst sledding season in recorded history.

This winter has been tough sledding for sledders: DC has yet to encounter a single snowfall. If we make it until tomorrow without snow—which is a near certainty, assuming we can trust local meteorologists—the District will pass the previous mark for the fifth-latest snowfall on record. The overall record for latest snowfall is still a ways off, though: February 23, 1973, is the current date to beat for measurable snowfall (more than 0.1 inches). 

So far, this winter has been the eleventh warmest on average in DC history. This January alone has been ranked the third warmest in DC, with temperatures 7.8 degrees higher than average. 

Washingtonians celebrated the January 2016 decree that allowed sledding down Capitol Hill. Photo by Benjamin Freed.

The current snow drought extends across the Northeastern US. Other major cities–Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York–have yet to see snow either. Weather Prediction Center Branch Chief Greg Carbin told CNN high temperatures could be to blame, with would-be snow instead falling as rain. 

On average, DC measures 13.7 total inches of snowfall each winter. Now that we’ve trudged through almost two-thirds of the season, it’s unclear how much (if any) snow we’ll get in Washington.  

Tory Basile
Editorial Fellow