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Pattern Change: Day One

Matt Ross @ 1:00 AM

After temps in the 60s over the weekend, including a record high at Dulles yesterday, the next couple days will be seasonably cold and by contrast likely to feel much colder.

Today

Forecast Confidence: HighWindy, Falling Temps. While many of you are likely to wake up to temps around the 50 degree mark, temperatures are going to drop throughout the day under partly to mostly cloudy skies. By evening rush hour we can expect blustery conditions with temps in the low to mid 30s as an arctic blast asserts its power over the region.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Forecast Confidence: HighWindy, Cold. Tonight will be windy and very cold. Temperatures will drop to the low 20s with northwesterly wind gusts of up to 25 mph. Wednesday is likely to be our coldest day so far this winter. Although sunny, it will be breezy and very cold. Expect afternoon highs only around the freezing mark. See Jason's forecast for the rest of the week and weekend.



Image Courtesy of Accuweather

Interesting Climo Stats

Our local National Weather Service office out of Sterling, Va. provided a couple of noteworthy stats in their forecast discussions over the last few days.

The 1st:

AT DCA...THE AVERAGE TEMP OF 45.4F DURING THE 45 DAYS (DEC 1-JAN 14)
MARKING THE FIRST HALF OF WINTER RANKS IT 2ND WARMEST ON RECORD...
SINCE 1872. THE WARMEST FOR THIS 45 DAY PERIOD WAS IN THE WINTER
1889-90 WHEN THE AVERAGE TEMP WAS 46.6F.


I don't think this stat is surprising to anybody who has gone outside in the last 6 weeks. The more noteworthy aspect is that the record was set in 1889-90. Although I am sure there were snow and cold lovers in the late 19th century, the reaction was likely mostly positive given the cost/effort to heat the indoors. It was probably likely more of a shock as well given the many very cold winters during that time period. That was a strong La Nina winter and it stayed warm through February as well only to turn cold in March with a moderate snowstorm (5"). It looks as if we are about to part ways regarding similarities to that winter.

The 2nd:

It turns out...both District of Columbia and
Baltimore have had only 3 Winters where temperatures never got so
cold that the maximum temperature failed to reach freezing. For District of Columbia...those
winter were 1952-53, 1997-98 and 2001-02.... The average number of sub-freezing days for District of Columbia is 8/year..So far this year...both District of Columbia and balt have had no sub-freezing days.

I think Wednesday gives us a real formidable opportunity not to join the notorious 3 winters mentioned above. If we fail then, we should have another chance this weekend.

Snow Lovers' Crystal Ball

Where have you been? I resisted the temptation to dust off the SLCB today as accumulating snow chances are still in the slight range. Nevertheless, there is a slight chance that a possible coastal storm forming Thursday night-Friday could throw some rain or snow our way. The more realistic chance that may warrant the return of the SLCB sometime soon is a possible storm in the next Monday-Tuesday timeframe. But given the trend so far this year, don't hold your breath for its return.

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