Feb 11 - 12 1983 Snowstorm
Feb. 12, 1983
Alexandria, VA

The sixth largest snowstorm in Washington history occurred with 16.6 inches in DC, 23 inches at Dulles, 36 inches in the Blue Ridge Mountains. (Bob Ryan's 2002 Almanac) The Middle Atlantic Coast States and southern New England were in the midst of a major snowstorm. In Pennsylvania, the storm produced 21 inches at Philadelphia, 24 inches at Harrisburg, and 25 inches at Allentown, establishing record 24-hour totals and single storm totals for those locations. New York City received 22 inches of snow, and 35 inches was reported at Glen Gary, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia. (10th-12th) (Storm Data) (The Weather Channel)
A huge snowstorm swept up the eastern seaboard, burying the Virginia Washington area in a swath of very heavy snow. During the late evening of February 10th a low over Georgia started giving a light snow to the Washington area. The snow slowly picked up in intensity during the overnight hours and by morning the surface low was positioned just east of Wilmington, North Carolina. A tight pressure gradient between the storm and a high-pressure area to the north causing winds to increase to gust over 40 mph and snowfall rates of 3 inches per hour were common. Many observers particularly in the Maryland suburbs reported several episodes of lightning and thunder. Most of the southern and eastern suburbs recorded 15 to 20 inches of snow while 20 to 30 inches of snow fell in the northern and western suburbs. National Airport received 16.6 inches while 22.8 inches fell at both BWI and Dulles Airport. In Northwest Montgomery and Frederick Counties the storm was the greatest ever recorded easily exceeding the totals received during the famous Knickerbockers storm of January 1922. (p. 90 Washington Weather Book 2002 by Ambrose, Henry, Weiss)