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View Full Version : DC Snow Data for Snow Tires/Hardtop Storage


andrewevandc
Tue, Feb-28-2006, 10:26:13 PM
Well, with a high 60's day forecast for Thursday, I started thinking of when to remove the hardtop from my new convertible and put it in storage. Also, I have snow tires on 17's and a second set of performance tires on the stock 18's, so I'm ready to get the better wheels back on the car. Thanks to the internet, I found great historical data on snowfall totals for DC. Thought it might be interesting to anyone in the area thinking about when to dump the hardtop for good, or when to switch out of snow tires back to performance ones.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ussc/SCopTab1?state=Virginia&station=WASHINGTON%20NATL%20WSCMO%20AP&coopid=448906&short=44

Shows that Avg March snowfall in DC is 2.2 inches, with roughly a 25% chance of zero to trace amounts of snow and a 50% chance of .4 inches total.

For April, however, it is extremely unlikely to see any snow at all.

I'll be pulling the hardtop on Thursday for the nice weather and chance it for March. I'll swap out the tires at the end of the month.

Cheers,
Andrew

flagger
Tue, Feb-28-2006, 10:58:21 PM
Well, with a high 60's day forecast for Thursday, I started thinking of when to remove the hardtop from my new convertible and put it in storage. Also, I have snow tires on 17's and a second set of performance tires on the stock 18's, so I'm ready to get the better wheels back on the car. Thanks to the internet, I found great historical data on snowfall totals for DC. Thought it might be interesting to anyone in the area thinking about when to dump the hardtop for good, or when to switch out of snow tires back to performance ones.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ussc/SCopTab1?state=Virginia&station=WASHINGTON%20NATL%20WSCMO%20AP&coopid=448906&short=44

Shows that Avg March snowfall in DC is 2.2 inches, with roughly a 25% chance of zero to trace amounts of snow and a 50% chance of .4 inches total.

For April, however, it is extremely unlikely to see any snow at all.

I'll be pulling the hardtop on Thursday for the nice weather and chance it for March. I'll swap out the tires at the end of the month.

Cheers,
Andrew


Ambient temperature is as much of a consideration regarding "winter" tires as snowfall. Performance tires just don't work in temperatures below about 40 degrees. The winter tires have a different compound, designed to work in cold weather. I generally take my snow tires off around the 3rd or 4th week in March after the temps start consistently hovering around the 40 - 45 degree mark. Then the OEM 19s go back on the car. I'm also using 17s for my snow tires. I'm out in Loudoun County.

andrewevandc
Tue, Feb-28-2006, 11:09:42 PM
Ok, that is interesting, I wasn't aware of the temp limits on performance tires.

Swapping tires in late March, as you suggest, is right on the money based on weather data. Check out 30 years of daily temperature readings at Washington National and you'll see that overnight average lows hit 40 degrees right around March 24.

http://www5.ncdc.noaa.gov/climatenormals/clim84/VA/VA448906.txt

So we're pretty unlikely to see sustained low temps below 40 by late March, like you say.

Cheers,
Andrew

M3@NYC
Tue, Feb-28-2006, 11:16:33 PM
Well, with a high 60's day forecast for Thursday, I started thinking of when to remove the hardtop from my new convertible and put it in storage. Also, I have snow tires on 17's and a second set of performance tires on the stock 18's, so I'm ready to get the better wheels back on the car. Thanks to the internet, I found great historical data on snowfall totals for DC. Thought it might be interesting to anyone in the area thinking about when to dump the hardtop for good, or when to switch out of snow tires back to performance ones.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ussc/SCopTab1?state=Virginia&station=WASHINGTON%20NATL%20WSCMO%20AP&coopid=448906&short=44

Shows that Avg March snowfall in DC is 2.2 inches, with roughly a 25% chance of zero to trace amounts of snow and a 50% chance of .4 inches total.

For April, however, it is extremely unlikely to see any snow at all.

I'll be pulling the hardtop on Thursday for the nice weather and chance it for March. I'll swap out the tires at the end of the month.

Cheers,
Andrew

You should have gotten 18" Snow tires. This way the ride isn't compromised as much. They don't have as much grip but they handle pretty good. I have the Pirelli WinterSports in the OEM 18" sizes. As soon as the weather permits I put on the 19" Bridgestone SO3s with a wider size.

andrewevandc
Tue, Feb-28-2006, 11:21:58 PM
You should have gotten 18" Snow tires. This way the ride isn't compromised as much. They don't have as much grip but they handle pretty good. I have the Pirelli WinterSports in the OEM 18" sizes. As soon as the weather permits I put on the 19" Bridgestone SO3s with a wider size.

Didn't have much choice. I bought the car used. The seller had OEM 18"s and 17" snow tires. I didn't originally want the snow tires at all since I have a beater to drive in bad weather. So I negoitated the whole deal w/out the extra set of whels. But when I went to pick up the car, I shrugged my shoulders, played the I-grew-up-in-Los-Angeles-so-what-do-I-know-about-snow-tires card and told the seller, "well, if you don't want 'em, I guess I'll take them off your hands." He was happy to be done with them, so he threw them in for free.

So, I'd say free 17" snow tires w/wheels beats 18" tires any day!

muggsy
Wed, Mar-01-2006, 01:54:26 PM
You should have gotten 18" Snow tires. This way the ride isn't compromised as much. They don't have as much grip but they handle pretty good. I have the Pirelli WinterSports in the OEM 18" sizes. As soon as the weather permits I put on the 19" Bridgestone SO3s with a wider size.

I don't know about you, but the only reason I bought snows in the first place was to maximize winter grip. Tire Rack recommends 17s and that's what I went with. I knew the M wouldn't handle as well but that's a tradeoff I was willing to make. Interesting weather info, I will plan to switch back to the OEM 18s in late March. A couple of mine have some curb rash I'd like to get fixed before I put them back on.

flagger
Wed, Mar-01-2006, 02:01:55 PM
You should have gotten 18" Snow tires. This way the ride isn't compromised as much.

Actually, the 17s will provide a better ride. The sidewalls are taller giving an addition cushion. In addition, the 17s are narrower which is recommended for snow. I'm guessing you use your M3 as a daily driver, as do I. Hence the need for snow tires. I'm willing to compromise the performance handling in the winter for the ability to safely get around in inclimate weather. Whether 18s or 17s, we can drive almost every day of the year which I like to do.