Has it really been a cool spring in Washington?

A number of readers have recently complained about what a cold spring it has seemed like.  But has it really been that cold?

In short, no.  Since March 1, the beginning of meteorological spring, the average temperature has just been half a degree cooler than normal.  If we use the conventional date for the beginning of spring (March 21) to crunch the numbers, it has only been 0.38 degrees cooler than normal on average.

2013-temp-spring
(Temperatures shown are an average of high and low for the date)

Recall March was 3 degrees cooler than average, but April was more than 2 degrees warmer than average.  So far, May is running very slightly cooler than average.


Observed temperatures (dark blue bars) compared to range of normal temperatures (green shading) and records (red and light blue bars) – (National Weather Service)

Though temperatures have run very close to normal this year, it may seem notably cool in contrast to last year, which was the warmest spring on record.  For example, as of this date last year we had recorded 11 days at 80 degrees or higher.  So far this year, we’ve had only 5 80-degree days…the last one way back on April 17.

When will consistently warm weather finally arrive? For the next 6-8 days, we will see a lot of temperature variability, with a couple warm days sprinkled in but we’ll probably be on the cool side of average more often.  But there are some indications a more summer-like regime will establish itself in about another 8 to 10 days.


8-14 day temperature outlook (National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center)

 

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