Topper's Blog: The Blizzard of 1996

11:12 PM, Jan 7, 2014   |    comments
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Blizzard of '96

The evolution of the forecast of the Blizzard of '96 is almost as interesting as the storm itself. About five days out the storm was going to pass completely to our south. Then about four days out, the southern part of our viewing area was going to get two to four inches. We had plenty of cold air in place. Each succeeding day the computer models moved the storm a bit farther north so we inched the accumulating snow farther north. The late computer run on Friday night depicted a blizzard for the entire Metro Area. If you didn't watch the late news on channel 9 that night than you weren't prepared. This storm is one of the few I can remember that got better i.e. more snow each day leading up to the storm and then delivered. I worked that Saturday night and went for 18" - 30" for total storm accumulations. Sometimes the big ones are easier to forecast.

Snow began falling around 10 PM on Saturday night the sixth. Heavy snow continued throughout the seventh with thunder snow that night. This storm set the record for the most snow in a snowstorm at Dulles with 25.4". The Blizzard of '96 is the fourth largest recorded snowstorm Downtown with 17.1".  The blizzard brought a few inches of snow on Monday the eighth. Of course we have rewritten some of those records. The blizzard of '96 slips to fifth spot at National after 17.8" fell in February of 2010. The Blizzard of '96 slips to number two at Dulles after 32.4" fell in the same February blizzard of 2010, from the fifth to the sixth.


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