2013’s weather distinctive for its moderation

January 1

No one can say for certain what the year that starts Wednesday will bring in the way of weather in the Washington area, but the year that ended Tuesday appeared overall to be notable for its very lack of notable atmospheric events.

It was a year distinguished by its overall adherence to the norms, in terms of temperature in particular. Averaged over its 12 months and its 365 days, the year’s temperature was above normal. But not by too much. About two-thirds of a degree.

It encompassed none of the 100-degree summer days that made for perspiration and conversation in recent years.

The area’s top temperature in 2013 was the 97-degree reading recorded at Reagan National Airport on July 17.

July is generally Washington’s hottest month. The monthly average temperature in July 2013 was above normal by 1.4 degrees.

That, the National Weather Service reported, was far from what Washington had experienced in the previous three Julys.

Also absent from Washington’s weather scene in 2013 were paralyzing snowfalls, furious windstorms, and rainfall sufficiently prolonged and intense as to generate widespread flooding.

Nor did many people experience 2013 as a year of crippling and extended periods of icy cold.

The lows never sank to the single digits.

The low temperature on Jan. 23 was 15 degrees. That was the lowest reading for Washington all year. February’s coldest day saw the mercury plunge to 18 degrees.

But Washington’s weather in 2013 was distinctive in one more way, in addition to its moderation.

In November, the average temperature for Washington was exactly three degrees below normal. By contrast, federal government figures show that for the world as a whole, the month was the warmest November on record.

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