In February of 2010, warm water from a moderate Pacific El Niño fed moisture to a south-shifted jet stream, which brought the moisture into contact with a strong, cold, negative Arctic Oscillation over the Eastern United States — which for us meant snow, and lots of it.
In what would be variously termed “Snowmageddon,” “Snowpocalypse,” and “Snoverkill,” a pair of storms dumped a total of over two feet of snow on DC and its environs, totally beating out the heaviest snows I had encountered before then (Baltimore, Feb 2003, and the storm just last December) and even exceeding snowfall records from the historic Knickerbocker Storm of 1922.
With snow accumulation above 8 inches, our Metro station stayed closed all week, and Amy and I were pretty much trapped at home through both blizzards. We had stocked up the refrigerator beforehand, and with the help of a neighbor managed to get extra food at the Asian market partway through the week, so we never lacked for supplies, and it was actually kind of nice to have the impromptu “snowcation” to relax a bit, working from home and checking Capital Weather for updates from time to time. (Which is to say, every 20 seconds.)
For future reference I’m using the name “Snowmageddon” for these storms because, well, that’s what the President called it. Or you can be boring like Wikipedia and just call it the First and Second North American Blizzards of 2010.
Some photos of the storm and its aftermath, from the Winter 2009-2010 photoset: