The Biggest November Snowstorm to Ever Rock Maryland

Maryland Snow
© A-Z-Animals.com/AZ Animals

Written by Katie Melynn Wood

Published: November 18, 2023

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November marks the beginning of colder weather in much of the mid-Atlantic, including Maryland. While autumn officially begins at the end of September, it can be as much as two months until Maryland gets really frigid temperatures and another couple of months before actual snowfall. Of course, each year is different. So when was the largest November snowstorm in Maryland?

The average snowfall in November in Maryland is typically less than an inch. In many years, the first snow occurs in December. But in 1898, a major snowstorm hit the East Coast and brought over 9 inches of snow to Maryland. The National Weather Service estimates that as much as 9.7 inches fell on Baltimore. Amazingly, just a few months later, the Great Blizzard of 1899 hit the same area in February and brought even more snow. Read on to learn about the biggest November snowstorm to ever hit Maryland.

Maryland’s Wildlife During the Storm

American black bear (Ursus americanus)  Jasper National Park Kanada

Black bears were likely already getting into hibernation mode when the unusual snowfall came in November 1898.

©Frank Fichtmüller/iStock via Getty Images

Many animals were already gearing up for winter when the biggest November snowstorm hit Maryland in 1898. While there aren’t as many recorded observations about that time as there are after modern-day storms, it’s safe to assume that many of the animals in the state took cover from the cold and snow. Birds that needed to get to warmer weather would have already migrated south. Some animals would have gone into hibernation or dormancy, including black bears and some bats. Some animals, like squirrels and cardinals, are happy enough in the winter months as long as they can find food.

Impacts in Maryland

Muddy Creek Falls in Oakland, Maryland - Snowiest Place in Maryland

Muddy Creek Falls is located in Oakland, one of the snowiest places in Maryland.

©Richard Bizick/Shutterstock.com

Other notable storms also hit the state and mid-Atlantic region before and after the November snowfall. The Great Blizzard of 1888 in March of the previous year was one of epic proportions. As many as 58 inches of snow fell in Maryland during that storm. Effects from the storm were felt from Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay all the way up to Canada. Snow fell in unprecedented amounts and in places where it normally was never seen.

Typically, the western part of the state gets the most snow in November and throughout the year. It has more mountains and a higher elevation overall. Oakland, Maryland, and the surrounding regions get a few inches more than most other places in the state. But with an elevation of nearly 2,500 feet above sea level, it’s not surprising that this part of Maryland has a different type of weather in November than the Eastern Shore or even Central Maryland.


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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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