The 13.2 inches that fell at Reagan National Airport, the district’s official sighting site, was just half an inch from the most recent 30-year average (13.7 inches). This was the fifth winter of the past six with below average snowfall.
Washington’s ‘normal’ snowfall fell
We should also give honorable mention to 19 other participants who were within 0.1 inches of the forecast:
- Predict 13.1 inches (0.1 inch too low): Guillermo Galdamez, Rachel Gordon, Justin Hudson, Robb Kookaby, Alexander Lange, Tabitha Lawler, Alex Lu, Rene Menjivar, Anthony Miller
- Predict 13.3 inches (0.1 inch too much): Monisha Das, Jadie Dawson, Carol Fyfe, Jessica Gray, Louis Gruber, Brian Kane, Irwin Reyes, Alexander Schlegel, Katy Tecson, Ryan Westrom
Overall, CWG readers were pretty good at predicting how much snow would fall; the average prediction among the nearly 900 attendees was 12.2 inches – just an inch shorter. About 100 participants were within an inch of hitting the target.
It was a rare year in which many people were able to predict the amount of snow that would fall.
As we noted on Monday, CWG’s official winter outlook was in the stadium with its snowfall projection, calling for 8 to 12 inches.
Our DC winter outlook was accurate on snow, imperfect on temperatures
Of the 24 CWG forecasters and editors who made snowfall estimates, Mike Branom — who, interestingly, isn’t a meteorologist and lives in Los Angeles — had the best forecast, accurately predicting 13.2 inches.
Before winter, we also aggregated snowfall forecasts from TV weather crews and private sector meteorologists, and the consensus was generally between about 6 and 12 inches – a bit low, but close.
This year has been about as “average” for snowfall in the DC area as it gets. We generally had more snow than the milder places to the south and less than the colder regions to the north. Our snowfall managed to pass Philadelphia, which normally sees more snowfall, but we didn’t reach Salisbury, MD and Wallops Island, VA, which usually see less.
Many Eastern cities moved closer to their average amounts, although several locations in the Northeastern Interior, such as Syracuse and Albany, NY, and Erie, Pennsylvania, saw significantly less than normal.
Below are the winners of previous Capital Weather Gang snow forecast contests:
Capital Weather Gang Snow Forecast Contest Winners, 2020-2021
Capital Weather Gang Snow Forecast Contest Winners, 2019-2020
Capital Weather Gang Snow Forecast Contest Winners, 2018-2019
Capital Weather Gang Snow Forecast Contest Winners, 2017-2018
Capital Weather Gang Snow Forecast Contest Winners, 2016-2017
Capital Weather Gang Snow Forecast Contest Winners, 2015-2016
Capital Weather Gang Snow Forecast Contest Winners, 2014-2015
Capital Weather Gang Snow Forecast Contest Winners, 2013-2014
Capital Weather Gang Snowfall Forecasting Contest Winners, 2012-2013