April Weather Gives Area the Cold Shoulder

By Sorokin, Ellen | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 10, 2000 | Go to article overview

April Weather Gives Area the Cold Shoulder


Sorokin, Ellen, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


April again proved itself to be the cruelest month - switching from spring mode back to winter in a matter of hours on Saturday and then dusting some Washington-area neighborhoods with snow overnight.

And with the cold and snow came strong, gusty winds that had meteorologists talking about wind chills yesterday.

"This is spring, so it's not unusual to have this kind of weather," said Andy Woodcock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.

"We've been teased a lot by early cherry blossoms and warm sunny weather," Mr. Woodcock added. "We just have to be patient and not panic. That's the motto."

Area residents got a glimpse of each of the four seasons as temperatures dropped from 70 to 34 degrees in less than 24 hours over the weekend.

Early risers found a dusting of snow on their cars yesterday morning, a day after temperatures neared 70 Saturday morning. Less than one-tenth of an inch of snow fell, Mr. Woodcock said, but it was enough to cover the blooming tulips and azalea and zap tender blossoms on magnolias, among other botanical victims.

Mr. Woodcock said Washington normally gets little snow. Only a little more than 15 inches fell all last winter.

However, Mr. Woodcock said it's not unusual to see snow in April. The nation's capital has had snow in the first full month of spring about every other April over the past 125 years.

The last big April snow was in 1924 when 5.5 inches fell, Mr. Woodcock said. Two-tenths of an inch fell in April 1990.

Saturday's warmth began to drop by noon when wind gusts of up to 45 mph ripped through the region, blowing down a town house that was under construction in Alexandria. No one was hurt.

The three-story town house was among eight under construction on Governor Crest Court, a new development near Franconia and Telegraph roads. The unit collapsed and fell forward onto the street, Fairfax County fire officials said.

The frame of the collapsed town house was up, along with some dry wall and some windows. But the windows were installed on only one side and the frame was open in the direction of the wind, officials said.

"It was quite a sight," said neighbor Cari Votava, as she surveyed the damage yesterday afternoon. …

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April Weather Gives Area the Cold Shoulder
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