Baltimore Snow History

Winter snow records for Baltimore date back to 1883.

The ‘average’ of 20 inches is a three decade average between 1980 to 2010.  A new average from NWS will be updated after this winter. As you will see in the breakdown of decades below, we will replace the 1970s with the 2010s. The last decade brought more snow, which may be hard to believe.  However, it will inevitably increase our seasonal average.

Baltimore has NEVER has a winter void of snow. Only once did the city get less than 1 inch all winter. Only three times has the city has less than 2 inches of snow.

Click an image below to see it full size

Average Snowfall in Baltimore

Average Snowfall Per Decade

Extreme Weather Decades In Baltimore

1950s = The Lowest Snow Decade

1960s = The Highest Snow Decade

We’ve also had a pattern of large snowstorms every 3 to 4 years in Baltimore dating back to the early 1990s. That includes events nearly a foot (11.5″ or more). The triple blizzards of 2009-2010 fit that, but also broke it with three events in one season.  Our last one was in 2016.

Note: The blizzard of Feb 2010 was on the way to the top all time storm… but right before it ended, The National Weather Service changed it. They said the snow measuring procedure by the FAA at BWI (measuring every hour then wiping the board clean) was not accurate compared to NOAA guidelines of measuring every 3 hours and allowing for weight and compression. They went back and lowered snow totals, including the December 2009 event and prior. 

Depending of your visual preference, I’ve compiled this same in a chart below.

December 5th- Date With Destiny For Almost a Decade

To add some context:

  • December 5th 2001 was a day the record high temperature was set in at BWI at 75°F.
  • December 5th 2002 the record snowfall of 7.4″ was measured at the BWI.  ONE YEAR LATER!

This began a stretch of eight out of the next nine years with the first snow of the season on this date. It was like clockwork and made some people hit a streak of wins in their office pools.

December 5th is FITF Day

December 5th is the date almost every year last decade marked the first snow of each winter season in central Maryland.   I credit the phrase to a conversation I had with my son in 2009. But it all began with a record breaking snow storm in 2002, when I did my infamous snow angel on Live TV,  just one year after setting a record high temperature on the same date.

Here is a look at the snow history and how it’s also connected to when “Faith in the Flakes” was born.

Winter in the Mid Atlantic can either behave like the south and stay mild, or like the northeast and snowy. Often we get caught in between and hang on every word of potential snow. Each year it is cliche to expect snow around Presidents Week. That’s when we get our biggest storms. But starting the season with the first snow in December is filled with anticipation by many and for many years it kept coming on the same date.

Baltimore has a few other special weather dates, but this one in particular has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. December 5th appeared to have been the average arrival of snow, at least in the prior decade.

How Faith in the Flakes Began

The start of the phrase Faith in the Flakes was back in 2009, with oldest son when he was just a three years old then. After missing an early season (November) snowstorm I got him excited for, I had to explain to Little B why his dad (and a weatherman) was wrong.

Brendan understood quickly, and believed it would eventually snow. He know we had plenty of winter ahead of us.

That word ‘Faith’ was his, knowing it was believing in something you can’t see. The phrase Faith in the Flake came from our conversation.  We walked away happy and didn’t have to wait long.

It was this date is when #FITF got validation.

It was on December 5, 2009 when we got our snow.  Baltimore’s BWI records only show 1 inch, but the inland suburbs got up to 5 inches. That’s what we got to play in at our house.

Then two weeks later  on December 19, 2009, we had the largest snowstorm in Baltimore December history and began our snowiest winter on record with a total of 77 inches!

The photos below:

This was my son and I celebrating in 20 inches of snow after the first of 3 blizzards that winter. This was PROOF that having Faith in the Flakes will eventually come true. I am so happy as a dad to carry that legacy with thousands of people today.

December Snow FITF 2009 B

December Snow FITF 2009 Igloo

I redeemed my weather skills as a meteorologist and dad in his eyes. We kept saying it back and forth to each other, and eventually I started saying it on TV and on social media.  I had no idea it would catch on the way it did.

It is also why snow lovers can celebrate our love of winter on this date every year.

Brendan and I  kept saying it back and forth to each other for years.  Now he’s a teenager a little too cool for it.

All Winter Weather Resource Pages

Maryland Winter Intro

1_Local Weather Coverage Map


NOAA Winter Weather Maps


NWS Snow & Ice Forecasts


Global Patterns

Polar Vortex



Winter Storm Types

See the 4 Major Snow Storm Types


State Snow Maps

Average Seasonal Snow Maps For MD, PA, & VA


Winter Precipitation

Types of Precipitation and Definitions 


Snow Cams

Western Maryland Live Cams


Snow Totals

See snow totals so far this season


Wind Chill Chart And Calculators


Baltimore Snow History


Low Snow Winters


El Nino Winters


La Nina Winters


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My ‘bonus’ daughter Jaiden and wife showing off our popular Maryland Hoodies. Unisex and women’s items all produced in Maryland.

Click here to see this and many other new items.

FITF MD Hoodie Jaiden

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December 5 Snowfall History Start Of Faith in the Flakes

Also see:

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