Record cold this morning, cherry blossoms shivering but surviving


Some blossoms coming out near the Capitol Thursday morning (Kevin Ambrose)

Dulles Airport dipped to 22 degrees this morning, tying its record low for the date set in 1965.

Reagan National plunged to 31, the coldest April reading since 2007, but 4 degrees above today’s record low (27) from 1899. Consider last April the low at Reagan National never fell below 40!

BWI dropped to 25, 5 degrees above the record (20) set in 1965.


A close-up of the blossoms buds at the Tidal Basin (Kevin Ambrose)

Kevin Ambrose braved the cold to photograph the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin.  Here’s his report:

Only a few large cherry trees on the Mall and Tidal Basin have started to bloom so far.  Some of the small trees around the Washington Monument are starting to bloom, however.


Mostly just red buds on cherry trees at the Tidal Basin Thursday morning (Kevin Ambrose)

As we’ve said before, unless temperatures dip into the teens, the cold does not harm the blossoms.  In fact, cool weather as the blossoms emerge prolongs their bloom period, whereas very warm weather can shorten it.

Cherry blossoms Thursday morning (Kevin Ambrose)
Cherry blossoms Thursday morning (Kevin Ambrose)

We forecast the peak bloom for the blossoms to occur between April 6 and 10, leaning towards the second half of that window when warmer temperatures should give them a nice push.


Panoramic view of the Tidal Basin Thursday morning (Kevin Ambrose)

Note: These photos were taken by Kevin Ambrose early this morning and transmitted to this post using a new Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Samsung “connected camera”.


Some blossoms near the Washington Monument Thursday morning (Kevin Ambrose)

Some additional facts on this morning’s cold, from the National Weather Service:

[THIS MORNING’S LOW OF 22 AT DULLES] RANK[S] AS THE 9TH COLDEST ON RECORD FOR APRIL AND THE COLDEST APRIL TEMP RECORDED AT IAD SINCE 7 APRIL 2002 /WHEN IT WAS ALSO 22F/. TEMP RECORDS FOR DULLES DATE BACK TO 1962.

THE 25F TEMP AT BWI IS THE COLDEST TEMP RECORDED IN APRIL SINCE 4 APRIL 1992 /WHEN IT WAS ALSO 25F/. IT WOULD RANK AS THE 9TH COLDEST ON RECORD FOR APRIL. OUR TEMP RECORDS FOR BALTIMORE DATE BACK TO 1873.

THE 31F TEMP AT DCA [REAGAN NATIONAL] IS THE COLDEST TEMP RECORDED IN APRIL SINCE 9 APRIL 2007. (Note: it dropped to a record low of 29 on April 8, 2007.)

SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF APRIL 1-7 ARE NOT THAT UNCOMMON.

INCLUDING TODAY…IN THE 143 YEAR HISTORY OF RECORDS…THERE HAVEBEEN 119 OCCURRENCES WHERE THE MIN TEMPERATURE IN WASHINGTON DC HIT 32F OR LESS. THE LAST TIME IT WAS 32F OR LESS IN WASHINGTON DC BETWEEN APRIL 1-7 WAS ON APR 7TH 2007…WHEN THE LOW WAS 31F…THIS DATE ALSO FEATURED 0.4 INCHES OF SNOWFALL MEASURED AT DCA.

IN BALTIMORE MD…FREEZING TEMPERATURES DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 1-7 ARE MORE COMMON THAN IN DC…AVERAGING ABOUT ONE DAY PER YEAR.

AT DULLES AIRPORT…THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF FREEZING DAYS DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF APRIL AVERAGES ABOUT TWO DAYS.

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Local