Where's the snow? What's behind the DMV's lack of wintry weather this year

Many residents across the DMV are wondering - where is the snow?

At this point in January, we are halfway through meteorological winter, and the D.C. region still has not had any measurable snowfall. 

As of Wednesday, January 25, the D.C. region has gone 320 days with no snow on the ground.

For comparison, at this same time last year, weather officials had measured 13.8 inches of snow at Reagan National Airport.

So what's causing this lack of snowfall?

Well one big factor is La Niña. According to the National Weather Service, La Niña can be defined as "persistent colder-than-normal (0.5°C or greater) sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific."

The phenomenon is not favorable for snow in the D.C. region, as it drives wintry weather westward.

Another factor is climate change. According to the NWS forecast office in Sterling, Virginia, a warming climate has created erratic snowfall totals, and has made it harder for snow to form leading to more storms with mixed precipitation.

So when could the D.C. region see some snow? Well January and February are the region's snowiest months, but forecasts indicate that La Niña will keep D.C. on the rainy side rather than the snowy side through the beginning of February.

If the snow does not come to the DMV region this year, it will be the first meteorological winter without a measurable snowfall in the region's history.