Computer models are starting to come into agreement that a powerful arctic cold front will plunge southward Sunday, sending temperatures plummeting just in time for President Obama’s second inauguration Monday, January 21.
Temperatures on Jan. 21 may not rise above 40 and could even remain sub-freezing. Highs below 32 would represent the coldest air in D.C. in about two years (not since January 22, 2011 when the high was 28).
The average high for the date is in the low 40s.
The biggest question mark for the forecast is the timing of Sunday’s front, which is subject to change.
If the front slows down a bit and doesn’t arrive until later Monday, conditions may not be as cold - perhaps into the 40s, but might be somewhat more windy.
At the moment, the cold front doesn’t look like it will carry much - if any- precipitation. So the ground should be dry for crowds congregating on the Mall.
We will keep you posted on the forecast and provide additional details in the coming days. We are still forecasting at a range where confidence is just low-to-moderate. But indicators of colder than normal weather are becoming more compelling, for inauguration day and especially beyond.