Worst DC Winter Ever?

I have lived in Washington, DC for 22 years. This winter has to be the worst one in my time here; worse than the winter of ’96, worse than 2010 with its dual Snowmageddon storms (the above image is from the second Snowmageddon storm).

The only winter I have see. that was worse than this one was the winter of 92 in Syracuse, NY. Syracuse experienced a whopping 162.5 inches of snow. I moved in the middle of it, thank God.

I am flying to Austin this morning to attend my sixth SxSW, normally an unofficial start to Spring. Usually when I go, the temperatures in DC are in the upper 40s and lower 50s. This year there is snow on the ground. Even Austin experienced a freeze earlier this week.

The unusually frigid air combined with a weekly snow storm (the below Soleil pic is from this Monday’s snow storm) made this winter particularly bad. Keep in mind, snow is something people south of the Mason Dixon line have a hard time dealing with on a monthly basis, much less weekly.

Soleil Playing in the Snow  1600

This year’s winter weather finds its basis in arctic air pushed south by a warm weather ridge that has invaded Alaska. In fact, the lack of snow is impacting the Iditarod race, creating a more dangerous event.

Certainly, the unusual winter has affected hundreds of millions of lives, and that’s what has made it newsworthy. At the same time, it highlights extreme weather conditions brought on by climate change.

Like the superstorms we have seen in the recent past, perhaps drastically differing weather patterns will continue to impact all seasons. Bad weather — both hot and cold, and more dire in circumstance — is the new norm.

Given that scary trend, I guess we can get used to saying it is the worst winter ever. Invariably, we will experience a worse winter in the near future.

In the short term, one can only hope that spring will be a mild one with as little dramatic variance as possible. Such a spring would be very welcome right about now. Oh, if we could only control the weather…

What do you think of this season’s icy anomoly?