Spring wraps up as second warmest on record

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By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 6, 2010

The three months that just ended have not been merely warm: they were the second warmest March, April and May in Washington's weather history.

The average temperature for the period from March 1 through May 31 was 60.5 degrees, the National Weather Service said.

In records that go back to 1872, there has been only one year in which the March through May period was warmer: That was 1977, when the figure was 60. 7 degrees.

The three months from March to May are not just any segment of the calendar: to people who specialize in studying and recording the weather, they are known as "meteorological spring."

And the local National Weather Service forecast office could report last week that this year's meteorological spring "was the second warmest all-time" in Washington.

According to this system of designation, "meteorological summer" began Tuesday.

But whether the early days of June are the first days of summer or the latter days of spring, they, like the 92 days that came before them, have been unusually warm.

The high temperature Saturday at Reagan National Airport was 91 degrees. That temperature was 10 degrees above the average high for June 5 and is in the range that many people consider characteristic of summer.

The first four days of June also recorded high temperatures well above normal, although only Thursday hit the 90s, with a 92-degree high at National.

Wednesday and Friday fell short of the 90s, with high readings of 89 degrees.

But with Tuesday's 87-degree high, the average high temperature for the first four days of June was 89.2 degrees, well above average and close enough to 90 for discomfort.

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