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Back to Normal ... Except for the Weather

Dan Stillman @ 9:00 AM

Life returns to normal in Washington today after the holiday season ended yesterday with an extra day off for federal workers in honor of President Ford. The weather, on the other hand, continues to be anything but normal. The average high for this time of year is in the low 40s, yet the next few days will feature highs in the upper 50s and 60s.

Pictured: A shot of the moon through the woods early yesterday evening, by photographer Kevin Ambrose.


Forecast Confidence: Very HighSunny, mild. High pressure will give us mostly sunny skies and allow high temperatures to reach the mid-to-upper 50s. Winds will be diminished from yesterday, though still a bit of a breeze. Tonight, clear with lows in the mid-to-upper 30s in town, upper 20s to near 30 in the burbs.


Forecast Confidence: High-Very HighSunny and slightly warmer. Can this really be January? It'll be partly to mostly sunny with highs near 60, then increasing clouds during the late afternoon and evening. Overnight, as the next storm system approaches, skies become overcast with a chance of rain by morning, lows in the mid 40s.


Forecast Confidence: Low-MediumApril-like showers and temps. Morning rain is a decent bet (60% chance). The heart of the precipitation may track north of the area, which would mean a showery rather than rainy afternoon. Despite overcast skies, a southerly breeze should warm highs into the 60s. Overnight, partly to mostly cloudy early, then clearing skies with lows in the upper 40s to low 50s.

The Weekend

Forecast Confidence: MediumMore mildness. Saturday, partly cloudy and breezy with a 25% chance of showers and highs in the mid 60s. Saturday night, partly cloudy with lows in the low-to-mid 40s in town, upper 30s in the burbs. Sunday, partly sunny with increasing clouds and a slight chance of showers late in the day. Highs in the mid-to-upper 50s.

Would Warmer Winters Change Washington?

Just for a moment, imagine if the much-warmer-than-average winter we've seen thus far was the norm for Washington. Consider how life in the D.C. area would change if high temperatures below 50 were unusual, as they have been for much of this winter.

Would this make Washington a more desirable place to live? Maybe we'd become a more physically fit population, with fewer bone-chilling days to prevent us from taking a walk or going for a run. Maybe we'd become more laid back. It seems the warmer the climate, the nicer the people. Maybe warmer winters would make Washingtonians more friendly, possibly more patient with each other on the roads and highways (though somehow I doubt that).

While Washington will never be the sleepy southern town it once was, would a warmer climate lead people to associate D.C., geographically at least, with places like Charlotte or even Atlanta rather than with Philadelphia, New York and the rest of the Northeast Corridor?

I can tell you one thing for sure: The panic level before and during snowstorms would
reach new heights (assuming that's possible) if warmer weather made snow a once-every-other-year kind of event.

What do you think?

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