In early February 2010, a well-tracked snow system that originated in the Pacific wreaked havoc across the country before buckling down on the mid-Atlantic. Washington, DC shut down to prepare for the storm that dropped record snowfall across Virginia and Maryland, with nearly three feet burying the nation's capital. President Obama immortalized the phrase "snowmageddon" when he picked it up from news coverage and used it in a speech in front of the Democratic National Committee. Forecasters said the system rivaled the Knickerbocker Storm of 1922 in intensity and snowfall.
On Feb. 6, one of the most famous snowball fights in history broke out in DuPont Circle, with over 2,000 people participating. One DC resident tweeted: "WTOP radio: Drivers are advised to stay away from Dupont Circle due to the snowball fight in progress."
Three days later, the Second North American Blizzard of 2010 – which some forecasters called a Category 1 hurricane, and which actually originated from the Gulf Coast – dropped up to 40 more inches across the same region, breaking seasonal snowfall records in cities like Baltimore and Washington, DC.