Snow What?

erin potter bikearlington
Erin Potter Tweet Us @BikeArlington@BikeArlington January 31, 2017

Erin Potter is the former Program Manager for BikeArlington. She appreciates Arlington’s low-stress street and trail network, which allows her to get places easily by bike.

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With a mild winter (so far) and our first snow so late, I was curious… just how many days in Arlington are plagued by snow and freezing cold?

This post is a follow up to an analysis of numbers done last year.

Finally, Arlington just got its first taste of the fluffy white stuff, at the tail end of January. And thanks to the excellent staff of Arlington Parks and Recreation, Arlington’s trails were clear and those riding or walking to work were treated to some beautiful sights.

From our winter bike workshops, we know that weather (precipitation and temperature) are big factors for folks deciding when to ride. And our Bike Counter data bears this out—trail and road counts of bikes predictably dip in the winter months.

winter trails around arlington county

With a mild winter (so far) and our first snow so late, I was curious… just how many days in Arlington are plagued by snow and freezing cold?

2015-2016 Winter Summary


  • 11 (out of 122) days with snow on the ground*
  • 8 (out of 122) days it was actually snowing

Freezing Temps:

  • 92% of days had a high above freezing**
  • 65% of days had a low above freezing

This is great news if cold and snow are holding you back from riding or walking in the winter. Basically, you can skip every day its freezing cold with snow on the ground, and still get to work comfortably by active transportation for 2/3 of the winter. Curious about the year before this? Check out our analysis.

For more specific winter riding tips:

And if you want to make biking in the winter a fun game with a good community of people, check out Freezing Saddles for next year!

Happy riding, and let us know what you do to make cold weather riding easier!

Cumulative Winter Averages

Averages of the past Four Winters

  • 12 (out of 121.25) days had snow on the ground
  • 5 (out of 121.25) days it was actually snowing

Freezing Temps

  • 93% had a high above freezing***
  • 56% had a low above freezing***


*All data is from Reagan National Airport, as recorded by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Snow data was from December, January, February and March of 2015-2016.
**Number of “days with snow on the ground” is measured by NOAA, what they call “snow depth” and refers to accumulation.
***Data included was averaged from December, January, February and March, from 2012-2016.
Disclaimer of Fun: Statistics is not my day job. Spreadsheets with data and calculations are here, for those curious.

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