Washington, D.C., sort-of shutdown by snow, again
Washington's Dulles airport recorded 10 inches of snow. Philadelphia now has its second snowiest winter on record. But mid-Atlantic residents are bouncing back quicker after so much practice digging out.
With a harsh winter that closed the federal government, schools and offices for several days this year, Washington and other parts of the U.S. seemed to be getting used to digging out of the snow and cold as yet another storm blew into Mid-Atlantic and up the East Coast on Monday.
Some federal offices and schools were closed as the nation's capital got 7 inches of snow overnight, the second heaviest snowfall ever recorded this late in the season.
With spring just days away, the commute on Washington's Metro transit system was light. Sidewalks were cleared faster than in past storms. More homeowners and businesses had given up on snow shovels in favor of snow blowers to clear sidewalks. Airports saw some cancellations, but runways were reopening by midmorning.
But, with the temperature rising, the latest snow was likely to turn into a slushy mess faster as well.
At least a few inches of snow were reported in the Washington area and parts of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey by Monday morning.
The National Weather Service said snowfall at Dulles airport in Sterling, Va., totaled 10 inches at 10 a.m. Accumulations in the region reached as high as 11 inches in the Montgomery County, Md., community of Hillandale, Md., about 10 miles north of Washington.
Winter-weary Philadelphia residents – who felt that this season was one for the record books were right – it's now the second-snowiest winter on record in the city.
The National Weather Service says 4.5 inches of snow was recorded as of 8 a.m. Monday at Philadelphia International Airport. That brings the total for the entire 2013-14 season to 67.4 inches so far, passing the 65.5 inches recorded in 1995-96.
Meteorologist Mitchell Gaines of the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, N.J., said several factors have united to bring more snow than usual to the region.
"Generally, it's been a fairly active in terms of cold high pressures systems moving in from Canada throughout the course of the season," he said. "There have also been a lot of active storms moving across the country that have had favorable tracks ... resulting in the area seeing snow more often than not."
Last month, Philly's snowfall secured third place, pushing the 55.4 inches recorded back in 1898-99 down to fourth place.
By far the largest snow total on record in the city, where snowfall records go back to 1884, fell during the 2009-10 winter season, when 78.7 inches descended on the City of Brotherly Love
Some people in Washington weren't deterred from getting to work Monday.
With her bank set to open on time, Joanne Swift of Suitland, Md., took a bus to the Metro to get to work downtown. As she made her way across a slick sidewalk, she declared what was on the mind of many this winter: "I am tired of the weather!"
"I really thought we had already made that turn into spring," she said. "But it's not piled high, so I guess this is reasonably OK."
In Falls Church, Va., Mike Miller spun out twice on the highway in the 3 a.m. hour on what turned out to be a one-hour drive to open up a Sunoco. But no one was hurt, and Miller remained in good spirits.
"It's still technically winter until the 20th," he said, referring to the first day of spring. "There are places where it snows year round. Just deal with it."
Stephen Moore, 46, who works for the State Department, had pulled out his cross-country skis and was taking the Metro down to the National Mall, where he was hoping there'd be enough snow to put them to use.
"I'm assuming this is the last snow of the year," Moore said.
In New Jersey, as much as 7.5 inches of snow was reported, and classes were delayed or canceled at schools across the state's southern half.
Winter's return follows several days of spring-like temperatures. Richard Windsor of Jackson, N.J., said he was not that impressed by the new storm system. Several previous storms this season dropped 10 or more inches of snow in the state.
"I figure if I made it through the stronger storms, I can handle this," Windsor said
Forecasters cannot say whether this year's winter weather will finally end with the official start of spring Thursday. They note that snowstorms are typical through March.
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