Six years ago the hype was building and grocery store shelves were emptied as one of the Mid-Atlantic's biggest December snowstorms on record hit the region. This storm was the first of three major storms that would hit Maryland during the 2009-10 winter.
Most years, this type of a storm would have been a storm everyone remembered for years. However, this storm is often overshadowed by Snowmageddon (Feb 4-5) and Snoverkill (Feb 9-10) later that same historic season. Let's take some time to revisit this historic storm.
In the days leading up to the blizzard, the overall pattern and model guidance suggested the potential for a storm. However, it was not until 24-36 hours before the first flakes did it become clear this would be a major storm. Initial forecasts from the National Weather Service called for a 5-10" snow. From there, forecasts quickly escalated to 12-24". The National Weather Service was quick to issue Winter Storm Warnings for the Mid-Atlantic. During the storm, Southern Maryland got upgraded to a Blizzard Warning, the first in some time. A map of what the warnings looked like on December 18, 2009 is shown blow.
The 16.4" of snow that fell at Reagan National Airport currently stands as the largest December storm on record. The historic storm also helped to set December 2009 as the snowiest December on record. Additionally, this storm stands as the 7th largest snowstorm on record.
Most thought this was going to be the storm of the winter as the conditions that came together to produce this storm did so, perfectly. Little did many know, we were just getting started in what became the snowiest winter in history for our region. Below are some images from this snow event.