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Is it normal to see snow in DC in November?

WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. logo WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. 11/14/2018 Chris Laudicina
Snow panda in DC_1542232084101.png.jpg © Provided by TEGNA Inc. Snow panda in DC_1542232084101.png.jpg

Parts of the DC metro will see their first snow of the season Thursday. For some, it seems too early. But is it really? Here are the facts:

Is it normal to snow in November?


Having snowflakes fall in DC in November is not uncommon historically. DC (Reagan National) averages 0.5" of snow for the month of November. 15 of the past 30 Novembers (1987 - 2017) have received at least a trace of snowfall. But out of those 15 years, only 4 were measurable snowfall (0.2" or more). The last 3 Novembers (2015 - 2017) DC did not pick up a trace of snow.

It's much more common to get snow in November in the mountains. Early season snowfall is often elevation-driven.

DC's Last November Measurable Snowfall in DC -- Over 20 Years Ago

DC's last snowfall was more than 20 years ago with 0.2" of snow at Reagan National on November 14th, 1996. This may be too long ago for some Millennials to remember!

DC's Largest November Snow

The largest snowfall for DC was back on Veterans Day 1987, when DC picked up a whopping 11.5" in an early season snow. The city had just practiced its snow emergency plan the week before. Video: Veterans Day 1987 Snow Storm

Related: DC's Top 15 Winter Storms

Why Does The DC metro have potential for measurable snow?

Cold air will be wedged in place before the wintry mix arrives, thanks to an area of high pressure anchored over upstate New York. A huge stream of moisture arrives before the cold air fully retreats on Thursday morning, resulting in the wintry mix and snow for parts of the area. In DC, this wintry mix will change over to a cold rain by mid-day and continue in the afternoon. Click Here to read more about snow amounts for the metro area.

Will Thursday break any records?

We could break the daily record snowfall in DC for November 15th, which is a measly 0.2" of snow. The record at Dulles is also within jeopardy, which is only a Trace.

Wake Up Washington will start at 4 AM on Thursday. Join Chief Meteorologist Topper Shutt, Howard Bernstein, Miri Marshall, and Melissa Nord for updates throughout the day on tTV and social media.


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