The snowfall total of 32.4 inches at Washington Dulles International Airport Feb. 5-6 set a new record for the airport, according to the National Weather Service, and the storm's final tallies place it among the top few storms ever recorded in the area.
The previous two-day storm record at Dulles Airport was 23.2 inches of snow, set Jan. 7-8, 1996. As residents shoveled this winter, the storm of 1996 was the standard of comparison for many.
Doug Counts, shoveling in Sterling, has been living at his home since the 1980s. He remembered some big storms, but as the snow continued to fall the afternoon of Feb. 6, he said this one looked as though it was shaping up to be the biggest he's seen. "This may be it," he said.
The storm caused power outages throughout the region. Loudoun County public schools will be closed Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 8-9.
This storm also took its place in the record books in Washington, D.C., where records go back to 1871. At Reagan Washington National Airport, the two-day total was measured at 17.8 inches -- the fourth highest ever noted there. At Baltimore-Washington International Airport, this storm took second place. The top snowstorm at both Reagan and Baltimore is still the legendery Knickerbocker storm of 1922, so named because the roof fell in at the grand new Knickerbocker Theatre in Washington, D.C.
This isn't the first record-breaker of the winter. The storm that hit Loudoun County on Dec. 19-20 broke a one-day snowfall record for December. The highest total in Loudoun for those two days in December was measured at 22 inches in Lucketts.
Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency Feb. 4 in advance of the snowfall, authorizing state agencies to assist local governments responding to the winter storm. The Town of Leesburg declared a snow emergency Friday, Feb. 5. For more information, visit NWS Baltimore/Washington Home page