As we close out the warmest December on record in Baltimore along with 10 days in a row of rain, one of the most common questions I keep getting asks if we ever had a winter without snow. For starters, the quick answer is no. But I understand how it might feel like we might be heading that way, considering that we had almost the same number days in the 70s (5) as lows in the 20s (6). But ‘no snow’ is a relative term, but worth elaborating on with ‘low snow’ winters. I dug through the 131 years of winter records history in Baltimore and plotted out the results below. The results might surprise you as it has happened quite often throughout history. So please do not take our lake of snow to expand on a global warming or climate change topic. This is not a political statement, but rather that extreme weather of this sort has been displayed on occasion and documented since the 1800s.
Before we get started and fellow snow lovers possible get scared, I want to remind you of the article I wrote about snowless Decembers. The remained of winter was near or above normal snow about 50% of the time. There is still reason to keep your Faith in the Flakes*
Low Snow Winters
- 0.7″ in the winter of 1949-1950. The only time a full winter resulted in less than a single inch.
- 1.2″ in 1972-1973
- 2.3″ in 2001-2002
I broke down the low snow winters into two categories: Below 5 inches, and between 5 and 10 inches. Consider that an average winter brings 21 inches of snow to Baltimore, this covers the years with less than half of what we might expect. The list is below with some additional stats, included four times Baltimore measured less than 10 inches of snow for two winters in a row.
Under 5 inches of snow
Notice the winters fitting this category are evenly scattered throughout the record period since 1883.
Between 5 and 10 inches of snow
13 years out of 131 fit this category. Three since 2000, two in the 1990s. However severe occurred between 1883 and 1951.
Pairs of years under 10 inches of snow
There have been two years in a row with low snow occurring four times since 1883. Twice those pairs were followed by one of the top snow winters
- 1888-1889: 9.0″
- 1889-1890: 4.9″
- 1949-1950: 0.7″ *Lowest on record
- 1951-1951: 6.2″
- 2000-2001: 8.7″
- 2001-2002: 2.3″
This was followed by out third highest snow total of 58.1″ in 2002-2003
- 2007-2008: 8.5″
- 2008-2009: 9.1″
This was followed by the most snow on record: 77″ in 2009-2010
I will have more Baltimore Snow History to share over New Year’s weekend, and working on a Winter Page soon.
Faith In The Flakes: It Will Snow… Eventually
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