Above-average temperatures reverse D.C. region's trend for year

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 2, 2010

February was memorable for snow and cold. But first March and then April turned out to be far warmer than normal, and what began as a cold year has become a warm one.

Saturday continued the high temperature trend. Official readings were well above average at each of the region's three airports.

At Reagan National Airport, the high of 88 was 17 degrees above average. At Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, the high was also 88 degrees, 19 above average.

The 90-degree reading at Dulles International Airport set a May 1 record. It, too, was 19 degrees above average.

These are readings reminiscent of summer, as was the forecast for Sunday that was posted online by the National Weather Service.

It referred to the notorious summer duo of "heat and humidity" and said the combination will bring thunderstorms to northern and western parts of the region, in particular. Temperatures in most of the region will be in the 90s, the weather service said.

With an average temperature of 60.8 degrees, the month that ended Friday appeared to be the fifth warmest April in the Washington weather record book, which dates from 1871.

The average temperatures for both March and April exceeded the normal reading by the same amount, 4.7 degrees.

That reversed the year's temperature trend, on which February's cold had weighed heavily. As a result, the average temperature for the year is more than a full degree above normal.

Apparently, however, some of the wintry symbols of February were slow to yield to changing conditions.

A man posting on a Baltimore Sun weather blog reported on the snow that had been shoveled from all over Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt and heaped onto a back road.

As late as Friday, he said, although it was reduced to mere inches, "a tiny pile" remained.

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