Weather’s history predicts more snow

MANASSAS — Northern Virginia residents escaped winter weather in December but couldn’t elude snow in January as some parts of Prince William County got hit with 3 inches over the weekend.

According to the Weather Forecast Office for the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area, Prince William County averages 1 inch of snow in November and 3.1 inches in December.

“We have been lucky,” said Calvin Meadows, a meteorologist technician. “We have been having a rather mild winter. In December, we had four days where the temperature was above 70 degrees. On average, the month was about 6 degrees warmer than usual. The weather was dry in December, about 1.5 inches below normal in precipitation. It continues to be low in January.”

The 90-day forecast looks to be “near normal,” Meadows said, in terms of snow and rainfall. On average, 6.2 inches of snow fall in the metro area in January, which means a few more days of snow this month is a strong possibility.

In February, an average of 6.3 inches falls; March brings 1.6 inches of snow.

“We can’t predict if there will be any severe weather storms or not for the rest of this winter, but so far it has been rather mild,” Meadows said.

During the winter months, Northern Virginia usually gets 1 or more inches of snow six times a year, and 24 or more inches of snow occurring once in 25 years.

The last time blizzardlike conditions were experienced in the area was during the week of Jan. 7, 1996, when 30 inches of snow fell, closing government agencies and schools for almost a week.

Staff writer Trina Goethals can be reached at (703) 368-3101, Ext. 121.

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