February off to a warm start

February 2

Washington closed the books this weekend on a month of memorable and miserable cold. February arrived, bringing two warm days, and making it doubly clear that January was over.

Washington’s January was 3.8 degrees colder than average. The 3.8-inch snowfall measured at Reagan National Airport on Jan. 21 set a record for that date.

The next day, Jan. 22, set a record for coldness when the mercury could not rise above 19. It was the first time that it had not been at least 21 degrees in Washington on Jan. 22.

The ice and snow, the wind and the chill were irritating and abrasive, combining to stamp January as a month of maximum meteorological unpleasantness.

It was, to be sure, even colder elsewhere in the country. In a speech on Thursday in Waukesha, Wis., President Obama acknowledged this.

He joked that he had considered starting his State of the Union address by reporting that “the state of the union is cold.”

But the weekend suggested an end to that. On the first day of the new month, Saturday’s temperature reached a high of 53. And Sunday, February’s second day, was even warmer, with a high reading of 62 degrees at National.

Of course, it will get colder in coming days. Forecasts include talk of snow. It could easily become disagreeable. . But January is done.

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