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Today's Nice Weather; New Year's Sneak Peek

Josh Larson @ 1:30 AM

After five days with highs in the low to mid 30's, yesterday's mild weather was quite a change. Somewhat unusually, Dulles actually recorded the highest temperature of the three local airports - 55 - while DCA and BWI each recorded a high of 50; it's possible that light southerly winds suppressed temperatures just a bit at National.

As Jason mentioned yesterday, yesterday's mild weather - some 5-10 degrees above the average high of 44 - is only a taste of things to come. Today's highs will once be in the low to mid 50's, albeit under mostly cloudy skies; Friday's highs will approach the 60 degree mark, again under mostly cloudy skies. A sneak peek at weather for New Year's Eve shows partly to mostly cloudy skies, with temperatures from 40-50 and a slight chance of a stray sprinkle.

...But wait! I believe that temperatures will rise into the mid 60's on the first day of 2005 under partly to mostly sunny skies. That would be a whopping 20 degrees above normal highs for January 1. Quite mild weather will hold on through Monday of next week. After that, it appears that a somewhat more seasonable air mass will build over the East, with temperatures expected to return to normal level over the area.

Snow lovers, it is quite premature to lose hope in snow this winter - as some of you have suggested in your comments. According to climatology, only 1.5" of snow falls on average during December at National Airport, so we have not built up a huge snow deficit as of yet. In addition, January is typically the snowiest month in DC, with an average of over 6" of snow falling. And for all it's worth, Accuweather has released their outlook for January 2005, which calls for near-normal temperatures and precipitation for the DC area.

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