Calendar says October; thermometer screams July

October 5, 2013

The temperature in Washington this past week, as measured by the thermometer alone without considering the heat of political acrimony, has been noteworthy in its own right. For the first time in six years, Washington experienced summerlike 90­-degree days in October.

At Dulles International Airport, the 90-degree reading on Friday set a record for the date. The mercury hit 90 at Dulles again Saturday, which tied a record.

At Reagan National Airport, where the official readings for Washington are taken, the thermometer reached 90 on Friday and 89 on Saturday.

Neither set a record, but few would deny that the days seemed to be uncharacteristically hot.

October, to many, means falling leaves and autumn colors. Summer­like temperatures are certainly not the norm. The low temperature in Washington on Friday fell only to 66 degrees, and the average for the day was 14 degrees above normal.

On Saturday, with a low temperature 20 degrees below the high, the average for the day outstripped the normal figure for Oct. 5 by even more: 16 degrees.

No day even close to 90 degrees was recorded here in October 2012. The highest reading for the month was 84, on Oct. 24.

In 2011, the warmest day was Oct. 10, when the temperature was 83, and in 2010, the high reading fell two degrees short of 90 on Oct. 11.

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