Monday in Washington seemed to be a day for new beginnings: for starting April, for opening the baseball season and for closing the books on a discouragingly cold March.
However, forecasts suggested that a few March-like days remain in store before April establishes itself.
The average temperature in March as read at Reagan National Airport was three degrees below normal; only four times in the past 40 years has March in Washington been colder.
Monday, by contrast, showed the meteorological benevolence associated with spring. It was warm, with a high temperature at National of 68 degrees, the third highest this year.
Not only did that reading speak of the present season rather than the one of which Washington had wearied, but it was in fact even warmer than normal for April 1 — six degrees warmer.
The only days this year on which higher readings were reached came at a surprising time, in January, when the mercury reached 69 degrees on the 29th and a startling 72 on the 30th.
On Monday, parts of the metropolitan area were shrouded by fog when the day dawned.
At 7 a.m., as the sun rose on the first day of a new month, visibility at National was down to one-eighth of a mile. That was sufficient to prevent one side of the Potomac River from being seen from the other.
Although wind-blown clouds were to drift across the skies, the fog dissipated, and Washington’s temperature climbed.
Taken together, the 68-degree high and 44-degree low yielded an average temperature for the day of 56, second highest of the year.
Forecasters did not expect Tuesday’s highs to climb above the middle 50s.