What does history say about remaining Baltimore snowfall potential?

  • Colin Casler shovels around his car in the 700 block of E. Lake Avenue to get to work. Morning sunshine and clear skies make it easier for people to dig out from the five to seven inches of snow that fell overnight in the Baltimore region. Area schools were closed.
Colin Casler shovels around his car in the 700 block of E. Lake… (Baltimore Sun photo by Amy…)
January 07, 2013|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

One month into this meteorological winter, 1.4 inches of snow had fallen in Baltimore, but there is little certainty of more in sight. What do the record books say about what could happen next?

In eight years whose snowfall through December was within a quarter inch of what Baltimore has seen so far this year, the seasonal total topped the average 18-20 inches three times: 34 inches in 1959-1960, 24 inches in 1992-1993, and 34 inches in 1923-1924.

For the rest, snowfall was between 9 inches and 14 inches.

For a broader sample size, what about years with 1.4 inches of snow or less through December? Of those years, 26 were below average, five right around average, and 10 above the norm.

The latter category includes winters like 1898-1899 and 1978-1979, when 34 inches and 33 inches, respectively, came in February, proving it only takes one whopper of a snowstorm to make for an above-average snowy winter.

Meanwhile, it has been a record length of time without a particularly snowy month, according to Foot's Forecast. There have been 22 consecutive months with 2 inches or less of snow in Baltimore, breaking a record of 21 straight months set twice, from March 1949 to November 1950 and March 1972 to November 1973.

A mere 2.5 inches fell at BWI Marshall Airport in February 2011, the last month before the streak began.

Have a weather question? E-mail me at sdance@baltsun.com or tweet to @MdWeather.

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