2011/365/032: The Anticipation of February Weather Events

It’s heeeeeeeeeere: the month all Marylanders dread: February, aka the blizzard brewer, and I’m not talking about Dairy Queen’s treat of the week. This is the month that has tested the bonds of Valentine’s Day lovers (and, not inconsequentially, created a boom of births in early November…). We’ve been teased enough with these systems running a shade to the north, east, or west. It’s Show Time, ladies and gentlemen. We own February, New England, simple as that.

I have plenty of memories from those mid-February storms ruining my Valentine’s day plans. Of the 30 biggest storms to ever hit Baltimore over 1-, 2-, and 3-day periods, 18 of them have happened in February. Of those 18 storms, 14 have hit during the second week, making or breaking lovers’ long-awaited plans.

February wins hands-down, totaling nearly 100 more inches of snow from our top five Baltimore-DC storms (332.5 inches) than January (236.3 inches; December and March hardly mattered at 164.5 and 178.8 inches, respectively). Interestingly enough, if you remove the 1899 blizzard that paralyzed the entire east coast February 11–14 (temps in DC were –15 degrees!), the other four storms have all occurred in the last 32 years.*

That’s a lot of February snow in our lifetime.

So we’ve had fun with these nagging ice storms and mega-dustings, but these are all precursors to the major snow “events” heading our way.

Let’s all stock up on the bread, milk, and toilet paper, hon. I’ll meet you in Hamden with my shovels and Natty Bohs in the back of my trusty El Camino!

* Stats courtesy of the National Weather Service archives.

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