Overnight, temperatures dropped into the upper 20s and, as the storm intensified, snow accumulations began to accelerate. Marylanders awoke to a softened landscape and impressive snowy heaps where their cars once gleamed. And heavy snow continued to fall.
The National Weather Service said snow totals on Friday and Saturday broke records for those days in Baltimore and Washington.
For Baltimore, the 7.5 inches that fell before midnight broke the old record of 6.4 inches for a Feb. 5, set in 1899. The old Feb. 6 record was 8.4 inches, set in 1978. Also erased.
At Washington's Reagan National Airport, the 8.7 inches that fell on Friday broke the old record for Feb. 5 of 7.5 inches, set in 1892. The old record for a Feb. 6 snowfall in the capital was 4.4 inches, set in 1983. That record, too, was topped.
There is another superlative that can be applied to this snowstorm. NWS meteorologist Jared Klein said this is the first winter on record in which Baltimoreans have endured two storms that each dropped more than 20 inches of snow.
One other question that still can't be resolved, however, is whether this was truly a blizzard. Although blizzard warnings were posted, it was not immediately clear whether the requisite conditions were fulfilled: three or more hours of falling or blowing snow, with winds more than 35 mph reducing visibility to less than a quarter-mile.
"We haven't had time to analyze that, either," Lee said. Record snowfalls for the Baltimore area *(The meteorologist in charge at the Baltimore-Washington Forecast Office believes this weekend's storm set a two-day BWI record. It will take several days for it to be official.) 1. Feb. 15-18, 2003: 28.2 inches 2. Jan. 27-29, 1922: 26.5 inches 3. Feb. 11, 1983: 22.8 inches 4. Jan. 7-8, 1996: 22.5 inches 5. March 29-30, 1942: 22 inches 6. Feb. 11-14, 1899: 21.4 inches 7. Dec. 18-19, 2009: 21.1 inches 8. Feb. 18-19, 1979: 20 inches 9. March 15-18, 1892: 16 inches 10. Feb. 15, 1958: 15.5 inches
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