Capital Weather Gang: Local Climate


Posted at 01:24 PM ET, 03/15/2013

Cherry blossom peak bloom forecast from Capital Weather Gang: April 5

What a difference a year makes. Last year’s record-warm March led to a tie for the third earliest cherry blossom peak on record on March 20. This year, cooler than average weather is likely to push the peak bloom back considerably. We project blossoms will peak between April 3 and April 7, or around April 5.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:24 PM ET, 03/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Cherry Blossoms, Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 03/14/2013

Maryland, Virginia winters turn less snowy as New York, Boston enjoy snow bonanza

The northern end of the Northeast megalopolis lies in the proverbial sweet spot for snow, as general observations have shown over the years. A closer examination of the historical record reveals not only increases in the seasonal snowfall totals for Boston and New York City, but also unearths this all too predictable truth: Maryland and Virginia winters are becoming less snowy.

By Rick Grow  |  01:02 PM ET, 03/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms, U.S. Weather, Local Climate

Posted at 01:20 PM ET, 03/13/2013

Knickerbocker Snowstorm short stories

There are dozens of Knickerbocker Snowstorm stories buried in the newspaper archives or passed down by word-of-mouth by Washington-area families. I have made an effort to gather and document many of the stories before they are lost or forgotten.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  01:20 PM ET, 03/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, History, Local Climate

Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 03/13/2013

March 13 weather extremes: Blizzard of 1993 and 2012 80-degree heat (POLL)

Last year, it was 81 degrees in Washington, D.C. on March 13, in the midst of a heat wave that presaged the warmest March on record. But 20 years ago on the 13th, the Blizzard of 1993 socked the area.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:07 PM ET, 03/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, History, Local Climate

Posted at 01:44 PM ET, 03/11/2013

The blizzard of 1993: 20-year anniversary of March Superstorm

Twenty years ago today, among the most intense cold season storms of the 20th century began to organize. The storm - which would dump crippling amounts of snow from Florida to Maine - resulted in over 300 fatalities and $9 billion in damages (2012 dollars). Known as the “Superstorm of 1993”, “The Blizzard of ‘93” and “Storm of the Century”, it is ranked as an “extreme” category 5 storm on NOAA’s Regional Snowfall Index (RSI) scale.

By Don Lipman  |  01:44 PM ET, 03/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, History, Local Climate

Posted at 10:27 AM ET, 03/11/2013

February was colder than average in Washington, D.C., March tending that way too

Of the meteorological winter months (December-February), February was our coldest, but only slightly below normal (-0.7F). The month was also drier-than-normal, with a deficit of 0.95 inches. But it sure seemed like a wetter month than that.

By Matt Rogers  |  10:27 AM ET, 03/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 03:28 PM ET, 03/07/2013

Snowquester: The pictures tell its story best

Snowquester, for all its maddening quirks and unfulfilled promises, was quite the photogenic storm. Five different images tell the story of this big snow tease, and make an indelible impression on our collective minds.

By Rick Grow*  |  03:28 PM ET, 03/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Recaps, Winter Storms

Posted at 02:47 PM ET, 03/04/2013

History as a helper: the past suggests Snowquester storm will pack a punch Wednesday

As the Washington area braces for its biggest snow storm since Commutageddon, a number of similar historical events, or analogs, suggest disruptive accumulations will likely occur from Snowquester

By Rick Grow*  |  02:47 PM ET, 03/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Winter Storms

Posted at 09:07 AM ET, 03/04/2013

March snow in Washington, D.C.: Precedent exists for ending winter with a bang

With the Snowquester storm in the forecast Wednesday, history shows us big March snow events can and do happen at the close of winter, even in seasons with little prior snow.

By Ian Livingston  |  09:07 AM ET, 03/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 11:02 AM ET, 03/01/2013

March severe weather, and start of meteorological spring: in like a lion, or lamb?

March 1 marks the start of meteorological spring. For those who are tired of the dark, damp, and disappointing days of winter this official demarcation of spring is a welcome thought. Most years this indoctrination of spring can be misleading because early March can feel like an extension of February.

By Kathryn Prociv  |  11:02 AM ET, 03/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Thunderstorms, Local Climate

Posted at 10:52 AM ET, 02/27/2013

Asheville, N.C.: Suffering worse snow drought than Washington, D.C.

Here’s some news that may shock snow-starved Washingtonians: we don’t have it all that bad. For all the attention that’s been given to D.C.’s longest drought without a 2 inch or greater snow event, and rightfully so, one city in the South, Asheville, N.C., is actually suffering through a longer period of even paltrier snow amounts.

By Rick Grow*  |  10:52 AM ET, 02/27/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, U.S. Weather

Posted at 04:12 PM ET, 02/21/2013

Winter warming accelerates in Maryland and Virginia since 1970

Prior to 1970, temperatures in Maryland and Virginia had been more or less flat over the course of the 20th century. But since that time, they have climbed sharply, warming about 2.5 degrees F - part of an abrupt steepening in the rise of nationwide winter temperatures.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:12 PM ET, 02/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change, Local Climate

Posted at 10:32 AM ET, 02/21/2013

Can D.C. dream the impossible dream of breaking the snow drought this winter?

History says we have about a 50-50 chance of getting 2 inches or more snow before winter ends.

By Ian Livingston  |  10:32 AM ET, 02/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Winter Storms

Posted at 11:19 AM ET, 02/20/2013

Does the “less snow, more blizzards” global warming theory hold up in Washington, D.C.?

Does it seem like snowfall is exhibiting manic behavior - lashing out with paralyzing blizzards one winter and retreating with piddling dustings the next?

By Jason Samenow  |  11:19 AM ET, 02/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Climate Change, Winter Storms

Posted at 01:15 PM ET, 02/19/2013

When is the average last date of measurable snow in Washington, D.C.?

For Reagan National Airport, the 1981-2010 average last date of measurable snow (defined as at least 0.1”) is February 24 – right around the corner.

By Justin Grieser  |  01:15 PM ET, 02/19/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 01:16 PM ET, 02/13/2013

Washington, D.C. falling deep into dungeon of snow futility

With 3.5 inches of snow combined in the last two winters, Washington, D.C. will have its least snowiest two year period on record if more accumulating snow doesn’t fall through April.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:16 PM ET, 02/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms, Local Climate

Posted at 09:40 AM ET, 02/12/2013

The Megalopolitan Blizzard of February 10-12, 1983

On February 11-12, 1983 a blizzard swept up the Eastern Seaboard, burying an area from Virginia to the Northeast U.S. under a blanket of very heavy snow.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  09:40 AM ET, 02/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  History, Local Climate, Winter Storms, Latest

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/06/2013

D.C. snow drought: It’s worse than you think

Washington, D.C. has now gone a record 742 days without a 2”+ snow event. We’ve been treated to frequent snow in the air of late, just not any of significance. A truly tormenting tease if you’re longing for snow fun.

By Ian Livingston  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/06/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:25 AM ET, 02/05/2013

Snowmageddon: When three years ago seems like an eternity (VIDEO)

Snowmageddon is entrenched in the memories of those who lived through it. Judging by the number of times I get the question “when is the next big snowstorm coming?”, it seems many are hungry for a repeat.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:25 AM ET, 02/05/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Snowmageddon, Winter Storms

Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 01/28/2013

The Knickerbocker Snowstorm: Inside insights on D.C.’s deadliest disaster

On this date in 1922, 28 inches of snow piled up in Washington, D.C., an amount never since surpassed from a single storm. The weight of the snow caused the roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre - located in Adams Morgan - to collapse, killing 98 people and injuring 133.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:26 AM ET, 01/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Photography, History, Local Climate

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 01/22/2013

Putting an Arctic cold blast in perspective in Washington, D.C.

Since there was not much winter last year, this Arctic blast will be the worst in at least two years. Is it more than that? We provide some goalposts to watch going forward.

By Ian Livingston  |  10:30 AM ET, 01/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Extreme Cold, Local Climate

Posted at 12:14 PM ET, 01/15/2013

Washington, D.C. can’t buy snow

Even as temperatures trend colder in our nation’s capital, the snow shows no sign of coming.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:14 PM ET, 01/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, International Weather, Local Climate

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 01/09/2013

Which is more pathetic? Winter, or the Wizards (POLL, 2013 edition)

Here we go again. Another meteorological winter is almost halfway in the books and we are faced with a familiar question: Which is more pathetic so far?... this winter’s lack of snow?... or the hapless Wizards? Here’s your chance to vote...

By Capital Weather Gang  |  01:00 PM ET, 01/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Humor, Local Climate

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 01/09/2013

Advice to snow lovers: Move to higher ground! Why higher elevations get more snow.

In this post, I will break down a couple of reasons why our neighbors living on higher ground often have the better chance of seeing significant snow while the rest of us are left wanting under a cold rain or mix. Then, I’ll look back at how elevation played a key role in snow accumulations for three minor winter events in late December.

By Kathryn Prociv  |  11:00 AM ET, 01/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:27 AM ET, 01/03/2013

Washington, D.C. in longest recorded drought without 2 inch or greater snow event

We now have a running stretch of 708 days without a 2 inch or greater snowfall, the longest span on record dating back to the late 1800s.

By Ian Livingston  |  10:27 AM ET, 01/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Capital Weather Gang, Latest

Posted at 11:27 AM ET, 01/02/2013

December 2012: Very warm close to record warm year in Washington, D.C.

December marked the 11th warmer-than-normal month of the 2012 calendar year and helped cement Washington, D.C.’s 2012 status as the warmest year on record. The month closed as the sixth warmest December on record.

By Matt Rogers  |  11:27 AM ET, 01/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 12/31/2012

Reagan National Airport's misleading low temperatures

A retired climatologist reveals a stunning disparity in freezing December mornings at Reagan National Airport compared to other locations both in the D.C. area and to the south!

By Jason Samenow  |  12:50 PM ET, 12/31/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 09:21 AM ET, 12/28/2012

Top 5 Washington, D.C. weather events of 2012

Warmth, and storms arguably boosted by that warmth, dominated local weather headlines in 2012. After a winter without a winter, we got off to a blazing start to the warm season with the toastiest March on record, and then we were unfortunate enough to deal with our third top-three hottest summer of heat in as many years.

By Ian Livingston  |  09:21 AM ET, 12/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest, Extreme Heat

Posted at 04:19 PM ET, 12/27/2012

2012: a year of electrifying weather photos in the Washington, D.C. area

I have selected 20 interesting photographs from 2012 that have either appeared on our Capital Weather Gang blog or Flickr page. Most of the photographs were taken in the District but a few were shot in Maryland and Virginia.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  04:19 PM ET, 12/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Photography, Local Climate

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 12/27/2012

Done deal: Washington, D.C. to complete warmest year on record in 2012

2012 was a year of crazy weather in Washington, D.C. from the nearly snowless winter to the summer’s scorching heat and high energy derecho to Superstorm Sandy. But the year will have yet another asterisk next to it for achieving perhaps the most remarkable milestone: warmest on record.

By Matt Rogers  |  11:25 AM ET, 12/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Climate Change

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 12/19/2012

December warmth in D.C. and its signal for temperatures the rest of winter

It’s been one of the warmest Decembers on record, and likely to finish that way. What does the mean for January and February?

By Ian Livingston  |  12:30 PM ET, 12/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 09:32 AM ET, 12/17/2012

Capital Weather Gang’s Daily Digit turns 3

Capital Weather Gang’s daily digit celebrates its third birthday this week. From the 2009 December snowstorm to the 2012 derecho, record heat, and then Hurricane Sandy, our daily digit has been telling the (subjective) story of D.C. area weather for three years now.

By Justin Grieser  |  09:32 AM ET, 12/17/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:13 AM ET, 12/12/2012

How often does Washington, D.C. have a White Christmas?

Last seen in 2009, an official White Christmas in D.C. doesn’t come along all that often on average. Learn the odds, and find out which years saw snow on the ground or in the air.

By Ian Livingston  |  10:13 AM ET, 12/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Holidays

Posted at 03:35 PM ET, 12/03/2012

Washington, D.C. sets new December 3 record high, soars to 71 degrees

At 2:50 p.m., Reagan National Airport’s temperature climbed to 71 degrees, breaking the old record high of 70 set in 1950.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:35 PM ET, 12/03/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 02:07 PM ET, 12/03/2012

November recap: First cold month since October 2011 in D.C., 6th driest (tie) on record

November 2012 for Washington, DC can best be described as a notably cool and dry month.

By Matt Rogers  |  02:07 PM ET, 12/03/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Recaps

Posted at 10:27 AM ET, 11/26/2012

Washington, D.C. records first official freeze of cold season, 15th latest on record

Washington, D.C.’s official observing station at Reagan National Airport (DCA) finally recorded its first freeze of the 2012-2013 cold season this morning. It was the 15th latest first freeze on record dating back to 1872.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:27 AM ET, 11/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 09:33 AM ET, 11/09/2012

Washington, D.C. cold stretch: Longest since Snowmageddon, but nearing an end

Washington, D.C. is on its way to completing its 12th straight day of below normal temperatures, matching the longest streak since Snowmagedon.

By Ian Livingston  |  09:33 AM ET, 11/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 02:17 PM ET, 11/02/2012

October 2012: Third wettest and third warmest of the 2000s in Washington, D.C.

October 2012 was the 12th month in a row of warmer-than-normal monthly temperatures at Washington National Reagan Airport (DCA).

By Matt Rogers  |  02:17 PM ET, 11/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 10/12/2012

First freeze of fall in the Washington, D.C. area is typical by mid-October

As we head deeper into fall, the first freeze of the season is around the corner. For some spots it could come as early as tonight, while others could historically stay freeze-free well into —or even past—November.

By Justin Grieser and Ian Livingston  |  10:45 AM ET, 10/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 03:15 PM ET, 10/05/2012

Fall foliage starting to show in Virginia, Maryland mountains

In fairly short order, the leaves will commence their annual color transformation.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:15 PM ET, 10/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 03:56 PM ET, 10/01/2012

Weekend snow? Doubt it.

CWG | A model has simulated snowfall for this weekend, but the likelihood of flakes falling is slim.

By Ian Livingston  |  03:56 PM ET, 10/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Winter Storms

Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 10/01/2012

September: 11th straight warmer than normal month in D.C., wetter than normal first time in 2012

The month was wetter than normal in D.C., marking the first time that’s happened during a month this year.

By Matt Rogers  |  11:33 AM ET, 10/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Recaps

Posted at 03:13 PM ET, 09/24/2012

Record-breaking water temperatures off mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts

We already knew January-June land temperatures in the Northeast were warmest on record, now NOAA tells us temperatures in nearby coastal waters were also record-setting.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:13 PM ET, 09/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Climate Change

Posted at 01:11 PM ET, 09/20/2012

Grading our summer outlook: we captured the scorching hot big picture

Taking together our monthly predictions, our overall temperature prediction and some of our more fun predictions, we get a solid B grade for our summer outlook.

By Matt Ross  |  01:11 PM ET, 09/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Capital Weather Gang, Local Climate

Posted at 09:47 AM ET, 09/05/2012

Nighttime muggies in Washington, D.C.: record warm overnight temperatures

This swampy air mass is making it hard to cool down at night. On Tuesday, record high minimum temperatures were tied or established at all three local Washington/Baltimore airports. See the above graphic.

By Jason Samenow  |  09:47 AM ET, 09/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 09/04/2012

Third hottest summer, 5th warmest August, warmest year-to-date in Washington, D.C.

While the June-August period ranked as the third warmest, the month of August ranked fifth.

By Matt Rogers  |  10:00 AM ET, 09/04/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 02:25 PM ET, 08/31/2012

Washington, D.C. ties record for most 95 degree or hotter days

At 2 p.m., the mercury met the 95-degree threshold for the 28th time this year in Washington, D.C., matching the record for the most such days set in 1980.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:25 PM ET, 08/31/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Extreme Heat

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 08/27/2012

Buckets of rain douse Chesapeake Bay and Delmarva; a waterspout in Charles county

Heavy rainfall also fell along I-95 over the weekend, dousing the Chesapeake Bay and Delmarva.

By Jason Samenow  |  09:30 AM ET, 08/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Thunderstorms, Floods

Posted at 12:36 PM ET, 08/17/2012

NOAA favors warm winter for Washington, D.C., noncommittal on snow

NOAA is noncommittal on its prediction for snow this winter in the Washington region.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:36 PM ET, 08/17/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 08/16/2012

Should Reagan National Airport remain Washington, D.C.’s official weather station?

The debate has raged for decades: Does it make sense to observe D.C. weather at Reagan National?

By Jason Samenow  |  11:43 AM ET, 08/16/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Government

Posted at 02:53 PM ET, 08/08/2012

Chart-busting 2012 temperatures in Lower 48 and Washington, D.C.

Temperatures so far this year are warmest on record locally and nationally, and it’s not even close. Year-to-date temperatures are on an entirely different level from past record-setting years.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:53 PM ET, 08/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, U.S. Weather, Climate Change

Posted at 12:08 PM ET, 08/02/2012

Dry conditions, drought persist in Washington, D.C. area

For the first time in over 140 years of weather records, Washington, D.C. (based on measurements at Reagan National airport) has received below average precipitation in the first seven months of the calendar year.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:08 PM ET, 08/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Droughts, Local Climate

Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 08/01/2012

2nd hottest July on record in Washington, D.C.; warmest year-to-date on record, 5th driest

July was a hot one. In fact, it was the second hottest in the history of Washington, DC meteorological records behind only last year. The three hottest Julys on record (dating back to 1871) have occurred in the last three years.

By Matt Rogers  |  10:50 AM ET, 08/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 07/31/2012

Which July in Washington, D.C. felt hotter: 2011 or 2012?

Barring an apocalyptic freeze tonight, July 2012 should end up D.C.’s all-time second hottest month on record. Last July was a hair hotter. Did it feel that way to you?

By Justin Grieser  |  10:47 AM ET, 07/31/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Extreme Heat, Local Climate

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 07/26/2012

Don’t fret, it’s getting cooler: August isn’t as persistently blazing as July

While the “dog days” of summer continue well into August by most definitions, temperatures are on the decline with the year’s hottest month of July largely behind us. Sure, these cool facts might not always be apparent every single day, but by August’s end the idea that refreshing times are ahead is often starting to become noticeable.

By Ian Livingston  |  11:00 AM ET, 07/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 10:15 PM ET, 07/21/2012

Coolest July 21 high temperatures on record in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore

The mist, the showers, and a persistent breeze from the Atlantic resulted in historically chilly afternoon temperatures in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore regions.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:15 PM ET, 07/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 07/20/2012

Storms produce heavy rain, mainly in District to points north

A strong line of summer storms swept throught the metro region Thursday night, dumping 0.5-2” of rain from the south side of the beltway through Howard county.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:47 AM ET, 07/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Thunderstorms

Posted at 11:58 AM ET, 07/19/2012

Drought expands into northern Virginia, continues in central and southern Maryland

Washington, D.C. and its Virginia and Maryland suburbs are not immune from the drought conditions afflicting nearly two-thirds of the country. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows all but D.C.’s far north and northwest suburbs under moderate drought conditions.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:58 AM ET, 07/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Droughts, Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 10:33 AM ET, 07/11/2012

Heavy downpours of July 10: flooding in Bloomingdale, D.C.

A weak area of low pressure passed over the D.C. area yesterday evening. As the atmosphere was flush with moisture, a very localized, but intense band of thundershowers developed between central Fairfax county and north central Prince George’s county. Torrential rain accompanied the thundershowers - with the heaviest rain falling in the heart of the District of Columbia.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:33 AM ET, 07/11/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Floods, Local Climate

Posted at 04:31 PM ET, 07/10/2012

How statistically unusual was the heat wave?

For some commentators, the recent heat wave signified nothing - other than a few extra drops of sweat. But the numbers reveal this heat wave was a rare event.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:31 PM ET, 07/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Climate Change, Local Climate

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 07/10/2012

June recap: volatile temperatures with a hot finale

June was an excessively volatile month with a menagerie of meteorological conditions. We experienced some very cool and comfortable days contrasted against the hottest summer has to offer.

By Matt Rogers  |  10:30 AM ET, 07/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 01:33 PM ET, 07/09/2012

Historic heat wave in hindsight: Hottest on record in Washington D.C., hotter than 1930

Mercifully, Washington, D.C.’s 11-day heat wave is over. We’ve crunched the numbers - and by almost every measure - it ranks as the most intense in 141 years of records.

By Ian Livingston and Jason Samenow  |  01:33 PM ET, 07/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Extreme Heat

Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 07/08/2012

Washington, D.C. hits 102, breaks daily record, ties mark for most straight 100+ days

Washington has extended its streak of 95-plus days to a record-setting 11 days.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:15 PM ET, 07/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Extreme Heat, Local Climate

Posted at 05:40 PM ET, 07/07/2012

Washington, D.C. breaks record high for July 7; high of 105 falls one degree short of tying all-time high

The high temperature at Reagan National Airport reached 105 today. That breaks D.C. record high for the date set in 2010, and it’s only the fifth time on record D.C. has climbed to 105 or higher.

By Dan Stillman and Ian Livingston  |  05:40 PM ET, 07/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Extreme Heat, Local Climate

Posted at 12:49 PM ET, 07/06/2012

The longest, strongest heat wave: D.C. records 9th straight 95+ day

For the 9th straight day, Washington, D.C. has met or exceed 95 degrees. In 141 years of records, this is a first. And the streak is likely to be extended to 11 after Saturday and Sunday. This record is just one of countless extraordinary heat records established over the course of the last three summers.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:49 PM ET, 07/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Extreme Heat, Local Climate

Posted at 12:47 PM ET, 07/05/2012

Worst heat wave ever? Washington, D.C. ties record for most straight 95+ days, more coming

In terms of the duration of a punishing heat wave, the current spell has arrived at historic levels. For the 8th straight day, the temperature has reached at least 95 degrees in Washington, D.C. - tying 2002, 1993, and 1988 for the most such days on record.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:47 PM ET, 07/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Extreme Heat, Droughts, Local Climate

Posted at 02:50 PM ET, 06/29/2012

Washington, D.C. shatters all-time June record high, sizzles to 104

Mark Richards, weather observer at Reagan National Airport, says the temperature at 2:48 p.m. hit 104, blowing by the old June record of 102 set on June 9 in both 1874 and 2011. We are now experiencing D.C.’s hottest June temperatures in 142 years.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:50 PM ET, 06/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Extreme Heat

Posted at 11:18 AM ET, 06/29/2012

Disproportionate June record heat in last 25 years in Washington, D.C.

The saying goes that records are meant to be broken. Today’s record of 101 at Reagan National Airport. may be threatened.

By Ian Livingston  |  11:18 AM ET, 06/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Extreme Heat, Latest

Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 06/28/2012

Historic heat wave arriving in East; monthly, all-time records in the balance

A heat advisory has been issued Friday for the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metro regions. Our region is on the northern edge of the excessive heat dome, which marks the dividing line between very hot and extraordinarily hot conditions.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:30 PM ET, 06/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Extreme Heat, Local Climate

Posted at 03:14 PM ET, 06/27/2012

Massive heat wave moving east, excessive heat watch Friday for D.C. and Baltimore areas

A heat wave of historic proportions, linked to the “epic” wildfire in Colorado, is coming for D.C.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:14 PM ET, 06/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Local Climate, Extreme Heat

Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 06/22/2012

Heat wave nears conclusion in mid-Atlantic and Northeast, hundreds of records fall

After two to three days of blistering heat from Richmond, Virginia to Portland, Maine, a cold front closes in that will bring cooler, less humid conditions by the weekend.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:50 PM ET, 06/22/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Extreme Heat, U.S. Weather

Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 06/20/2012

An alternative “temperature-based” definition of summer and the seasons

For most of the mainland United States the meteorological seasons, agree more with temperatures than the astronomical seasons. But I came up with a more precise way to define seasons based on temperatures.

By Jack Williams  |  11:32 AM ET, 06/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Astronomy, Climate Change, Local Climate

Posted at 02:28 PM ET, 06/08/2012

Water diet for the garden, watching your waste

We know too well that warmer days are ahead and rains will be erratic. Methinks it’s a good time to look at some ways to maximize the moisture we get during the course of the summer.

By David Streit  |  02:28 PM ET, 06/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Gardening, Local Climate

Posted at 02:14 PM ET, 06/07/2012

Washington, D.C. off-the-charts warm in 2012

The U.S. is off to its warmest year on record, and this holds true in the Washington, D.C. area. At all three local Washington, D.C. area airports, 2012 is tracking warmest on record by a wide margin.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:14 PM ET, 06/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, U.S. Weather

Posted at 10:44 AM ET, 06/07/2012

Maryland had second most tornadoes in single day on June 1

The number of confirmed tornadoes on June 1 in Maryland has risen to 11, a new record for the most tornadoes in a single date for the state. The event passes the previous record of 9 that occurred August 28, 1992.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:44 AM ET, 06/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Thunderstorms, Local Climate

Posted at 01:25 PM ET, 06/06/2012

Cool, spring-like weather in June: What’s your take?

June is off to a cool start in Washington, D.C. and much of the Northeast this year. As forecast last week, a big dip in the jet stream has released cold air out of Canada. Today will be Washington, D.C.’s third consecutive day with highs only in the spring-like 70s.

By Justin Grieser  |  01:25 PM ET, 06/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 06/01/2012

Warmest spring on record in Washington, D.C.; third warmest May

The meteorological spring March-May period easily scored as the warmest on record in Washington, D.C., beating 1977 and the close follow-up 2010 by about 1.5 degrees F. Now, two of the top three warmest springs in 141 years of records have occurred in the last three years.

By Matt Rogers  |  12:10 PM ET, 06/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 03:13 PM ET, 05/31/2012

Refreshingly cool start to June forecast in eastern U.S., Washington, D.C.

After the sweltering 90+ days on Monday and Tuesday, many feared it was a harbinger of a brutal summer. Not so fast. The latest data and projections signal cooler than average weather for the first 10 days or so of June across the eastern U.S.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:13 PM ET, 05/31/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Extreme Heat

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 05/30/2012

Tuesday night’s storms produce beneficial rains and dramatic skies

In what has been a tame severe weather season in the Washington, D.C. area, Tuesday night was true to form. Despite the severe thunderstorm watch issued for the area and several flash flood warnings, neither severe weather nor flooding was reported in the immediate metro region.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:30 AM ET, 05/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Thunderstorms, Local Climate

Posted at 01:15 PM ET, 05/24/2012

The warmest spring on record in D.C. — again

2012 is on track to become D.C.’s warmest meteorological spring on record, bumping 2010 to third.

By Justin Grieser  |  01:15 PM ET, 05/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 10:26 AM ET, 05/10/2012

Maryland has driest January-April on record; drought expands into Montgomery county

During the opening four months of 2012, it was as dry as it gets in Maryland according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

By Jason Samenow  |  10:26 AM ET, 05/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Droughts, Local Climate

Posted at 03:41 PM ET, 05/09/2012

CWG readers predict 42 90+ days in Washington, D.C. by the fall

More than 200 readers entered our game to forecast the number of 90+ days at Reagan National Airport. The average number predicted was 42.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:41 PM ET, 05/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Capital Weather Gang, Extreme Heat, Local Climate

Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 05/08/2012

U.S. completes warmest 12-month period in 117 years

Dating back to 1895, never has the U.S. strung together 12 straight months warmer than May 2011 to April 2012 according to new data released today by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

By Jason Samenow  |  12:45 PM ET, 05/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Local Climate, Climate Change

Posted at 01:22 PM ET, 05/02/2012

April colder than March in many cities across Northeast and Midwest including Washington (Dulles)

During a typical year, monthly average temperatures move steadily upward as spring progresses. Not so in 2012.

By Justin Grieser  |  01:22 PM ET, 05/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Local Climate

Posted at 10:59 AM ET, 05/02/2012

Washington, D.C. summer 2012 weather forecast: Brutally hot again, and dry

After 2010 and 2011 produced the two hottest summers on record back to back, I am sure almost everybody is hoping for some relief this summer. Unfortunately, we don’t think that will be the case.

By Matt Ross  |  10:59 AM ET, 05/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Extreme Heat, Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 11:03 AM ET, 05/01/2012

April 2012: 21st warmest on record (tied) - barely warmer than March; 30th driest

After the warmest and top ten driest March on record, April brought back a sense of weather normalcy. While relatively warm (1.5F warmer than normal) and dry (1.1” drier than normal), the month didn’t produce many extremes. But compared to March, April offered more weather variety: with more cooler-than-normal days and at least a few rainy/cloudy days.

By Matt Rogers  |  11:03 AM ET, 05/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 01:06 PM ET, 04/26/2012

Big storm barely dents mid-Atlantic and Northeast drought

One would have thought that the 1.5-5” of rain that fell from the mid-Atlantic to New England Sunday-Tuesday would have gone a long way to busting the emerging drought. But it shaved off the affected region by less than two percent!

By Jason Samenow  |  01:06 PM ET, 04/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Droughts, Local Climate, U.S. Weather

Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 04/25/2012

Was Monday’s return to winter unusual? A history of snow in April in Washington, D.C.

Now that (some of us) have had our little flirtation with winter, I thought it might be interesting to compare the recent April nor’easter with Aprils past.

By Don Lipman  |  10:50 AM ET, 04/25/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, History, Lipman

Posted at 09:29 AM ET, 04/23/2012

Sunday’s rain: a soaker, but not quite record-setting

Sunday’s coastal storm provided a welcome day-long washout, cutting the region’s annual rainfall deficit by 20 percent. Amounts were fairly uniform with most spots receiving between 1-1.5”. At Reagan National Airport (DCA), 1.27” fell, just shy of the daily record of 1.47” from 1883.

By Jason Samenow  |  09:29 AM ET, 04/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Droughts, Local Climate

Posted at 01:13 PM ET, 04/19/2012

Announcing the 2011-2012 Washington, D.C. snowfall forecast winner

Nearly 680 of you issued predictions about how much snow would fall this winter at Reagan National Airport. Only two people really foresaw the astonishing lack of snow. Topping the list: Bill Walker who forecast 2.1” would fall, within 0.1” of nailing the actual amount of 2.0”.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:13 PM ET, 04/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Capital Weather Gang

Posted at 10:49 AM ET, 04/19/2012

Drought sneaks into D.C.’s eastern suburbs, weather doesn’t have to wither gardens

It is hard to believe that we have been slipping into a drought in mid-April, but here we are. A spring drought is a bit sneaky since it is hard for us to think about watering yet and yet we must. What are your favorite plants for holding up to the dryness?

By David Streit  |  10:49 AM ET, 04/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Gardening, Droughts, Local Climate

Posted at 01:48 PM ET, 04/18/2012

Grading our 2011-2012 winter forecast

As always, we grade our winter and summer seasonal outlooks in spring and fall respectively. In short, we did poorly this winter with not much of a silver lining. The major consolation being that we can commiserate with the authors of the other winter outlooks we encountered.

By Matt Ross  |  01:48 PM ET, 04/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms, Local Climate, Capital Weather Gang

Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 04/10/2012

Washington, D.C.’s record warm January through March in graph form and charts

Through the first quarter of the year, 2012 emerged from the pack of other extremely warm years in Washington, D.C.’s historic past to take the lead. The above time series shows the year’s journey: starting warm, dipping to near normal for only about a day, and then steadily holding ground in unseasonably mild territory.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:33 AM ET, 04/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:54 AM ET, 04/06/2012

Taking advantage of the dry weather for gardening

The warm and dry weather has been great for getting garden chores but this dryness has got to stop. We are so close to drought status it is not funny.

By David Streit  |  10:54 AM ET, 04/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Gardening

Posted at 11:04 AM ET, 04/05/2012

When is the Washington D.C. area’s last spring freeze?

Less than two weeks ago our overnight lows were in the May-like 50s, but since then we’ve flirted with the freezing mark twice in the past week. Freezing temperatures may again visit the far northern and western reaches of our region tonight and even creep close to the beltway Friday night. You might be wondering when is the risk of freezing temperatures finally over in the region? In some places, it won’t be until some time in May.

By Justin Grieser  |  11:04 AM ET, 04/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 01:10 PM ET, 04/02/2012

Warm weather records smashed, more than 90 cities with warmest March on record

During the course of March, large chunks of the U.S. experienced spells of warm weather unmatched in recorded history. More than 7,700 daily record high temperatures were set (or tied, compared to just 287 record lows), in some cases by mind blowing margins and over multiple days. It’s no surprise that, after data were crunched, scores of cities easily set March monthly records for warmth.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:10 PM ET, 04/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Local Climate

Posted at 10:29 AM ET, 04/02/2012

March 2012: Warmest on record in Washington, D.C.; 6th driest (tie)

Our very warm March has come to a close and not only was it the warmest on record (since 1871), but it also extends our streak of above normal monthly temperature averages to 5 months in Washington, D.C.

By Matt Rogers  |  10:29 AM ET, 04/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:05 AM ET, 03/30/2012

Lack of snow and recent dryness cause for concern for Washington D.C. summer drought?

Even with some — generally underachieving — rains last weekend and Wednesday, much of the area remains abnormally dry. The new U.S. Drought Monitor update, released yesterday, even shows the beginnings of a short-term drought to the south and east near the Maryland shore. Does the recent dry weather portend a drought this summer?

By Ian Livingston  |  10:05 AM ET, 03/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest, Droughts

Posted at 01:42 PM ET, 03/28/2012

Shock stat: Maryland has third highest tornado density in U.S.

Florida, Kansas, and MARYLAND: these three states have experienced the most tornadoes per 10,000 square miles over the last two decades. That’s right - twisters have concentrated more in Maryland than in the tornado hotspots of Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, Tennessee, and Alabama.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:42 PM ET, 03/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Thunderstorms

Posted at 04:15 PM ET, 03/25/2012

Freeze watch Monday night for most of Washington, D.C. area

Just 48 hours ago it was in the low 80s, but in another 30 hours, temperatures may dip near or even below freezing in the metro region. The National Weather Service has issued a freeze watch late Monday night into early Tuesday morning everywhere in the greater Washington, D.C. metro region except for Calvert and St. Mary’s county - due to the moderating Bay waters.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:15 PM ET, 03/25/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:08 AM ET, 03/21/2012

Warmest astronomical winter on record in Washington, D.C.

The winter of 2011-2012, by the astronomical definition, was the warmest on record in Washington, D.C. according to the National Weather Service.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:08 AM ET, 03/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:53 AM ET, 03/20/2012

D.C.’s cherry blossoms have shifted 5 days earlier: what about global warming and the future?

Real-world data support the overall idea that the D.C.’s March climate is warming and the blosssoms’ bloom dates are shifting earlier in response.. How do the historic changes fit in with future projections?

By Jason Samenow  |  10:53 AM ET, 03/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change, Cherry Blossoms, Local Climate

Posted at 10:08 AM ET, 03/16/2012

Recapping the 2011-12 Snow Potential Index

With D.C.’s first occurrence of three straight 80-degree days in March since 1998, snow is now a distant memory. Capital Weather Gang officially retired Season 2 of the Snow Potential Index (SPI) last Friday, forcing disappointed snow lovers to come to terms with the remarkably warm winter of 2011-2012.

By Justin Grieser  |  10:08 AM ET, 03/16/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Local Climate, Winter Storms, Latest

Posted at 10:24 AM ET, 03/12/2012

What is Washington, D.C.’s weather like in March? Breaking down norms and extremes

Meteorological spring starts with the first day of March, and the astronomical version comes along in the final third of the month. It’s by no means one of D.C.’s warm months, but the signs of milder times to come are often significant. But, it can also still be chilly at times and even snow.

By Ian Livingston  |  10:24 AM ET, 03/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 04:05 PM ET, 03/06/2012

Poll: How would you grade this winter’s weather in Washington, D.C.?

It was the warmest meteorological winter (December through February) since the Great Depression, ranking third mildest on record. Snow? What snow? We’ve had 2” of it and never more than 0.6” in a single day! Assuming we don’t get any more snow by the end of April, it will also rank as 3rd least snowy on record.

By Jason Samenow  |  04:05 PM ET, 03/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 03/05/2012

Does D.C.’s warm winter mean a hot summer is to follow?

As we now know, meteorological winter (December through February) 2011-12 finished as the third warmest on record here in Washington, D.C.. Thinking back, warmth seems all too common around here, especially when one considers the last two summers were the hottest two on record. The fourth warmest February on record to close our toasty winter can’t be a good omen going into the warm season, can it?

By Ian Livingston  |  11:30 AM ET, 03/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 12:11 PM ET, 03/01/2012

National Park Service: Cherry Blossoms to bloom early in Washington, D.C. in 2012

Rob DeFeo, chief horticulturalist at the National Park Service, predicts an early peak for this year’s Centennial cherry blossom bloom at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C..

By Jason Samenow  |  12:11 PM ET, 03/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Cherry Blossoms

Posted at 10:16 AM ET, 03/01/2012

February 4th warmest on record, meteorological winter 3rd warmest

February and the meteorological winter (spaning December through February) have just come to a close, but why do I feel like we are transitioning from autumn to spring right now? This has certainly been a winter in name only as we continue to draw sharp contrasts against the previous two colder-than-normal winters. So let’s look at how we stacked up in the final tallies...

By Matt Rogers  |  10:16 AM ET, 03/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 03:13 PM ET, 02/29/2012

Leap day weather: new rainfall records set at Dulles and BWI airports

Occurring only once every four years, weather records for February 29 are necessarily limited. For example, the number of leap days on record at Dulles airport is just 13, since observations began there in 1963. Thus, it’s not surprising that today’s old rainfall record of 0.51” from 1968 was easily passed today. The airport has received 0.99” so far.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:13 PM ET, 02/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 12:36 PM ET, 02/29/2012

As cherry blossoms promise an early bloom, some pre-spring gardening tips

We are just beginning our most floriferous time of year. Of course, one of the main treats in Washington, D.C. will be the bloom of the region’s cherry blossoms. This is the 100th anniversary of these trees coming to the Tidal Basin so it should be quite an event.

By David Streit  |  12:36 PM ET, 02/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Gardening, Gardening

Posted at 01:10 PM ET, 02/28/2012

Toughest places to forecast weather: a match for Washington D.C.?

From trying to nail down the rain-snow line in winter to predicting the timing and location of pop-up thunderstorms in summer, the fickle nature of D.C.’s weather presents problems for even the most seasoned forecasters. What forecast challenges do other regions contend with? Are they as difficult as Washington, D.C.’s?

By Don Lipman  |  01:10 PM ET, 02/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Lipman, Local Climate, U.S. Weather

Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 02/27/2012

Washington D.C. weather: Is it a forecasting nightmare?

Whether it’s extreme heat, extreme cold, blizzards, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, droughts, floods, or just plain high winds, Washington experiences an incredible range of weather conditions. But is D.C. weather really more difficult to forecast than elsewhere or is that just an urban myth, perpetuated by mean-spirited cynics?

By Don Lipman  |  10:40 AM ET, 02/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Lipman, Media, Local Climate

Posted at 10:41 AM ET, 02/24/2012

D.C.’s longer daylight hours mean spring really is just around the corner

A balmy 60-degree day in early January might feel like spring, but when darkness falls around 5 p.m., we’re inevitably reminded that it is still winter. Now, at least, we’ve got the longer daylight and higher sun angle to accompany our spring-like temperatures, even if they are (once again) several degrees above average.

By Justin Grieser  |  10:41 AM ET, 02/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Astronomy, Local Climate

Posted at 10:34 AM ET, 02/23/2012

Which is more pathetic: the Washington winter or Wizards? (POLL, re-match)

Heading into the all-star break, the Washington Wizards have the 2nd worst record in the NBA. Washington, D.C. is also the 2nd biggest snow underachiever in the country, trailing only Baltimore for snow futility.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:34 AM ET, 02/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Humor, Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 03:25 PM ET, 02/22/2012

Biggest snow underachievers in U.S.: Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Most of the Lower 48 United States has been snow challenged during the winter of 2011-2012. But of all the major cities, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. have the nation’s biggest snowfall deficits compared to normal on a percentage basis.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:25 PM ET, 02/22/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather, Local Climate

Posted at 12:03 PM ET, 02/22/2012

March outlook: Warmer than average, low snow chances

The warmer than normal winter is expected to continue into at least the first two weeks of March and will probably last through the month. That doesn’t mean there won’t be quick shots of colder than normal weather but that there is unlikely to be sustained cold. And snowstorms will still probably be hard to come by.

By Wes Junker  |  12:03 PM ET, 02/22/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms, Local Climate

Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 02/14/2012

What is Washington, D.C.’s weather like in February? Breaking down norms and extremes

February, the final month of meteorological winter (Dec-Feb), features plenty of cold air many years, but also a hint of what’s to come in the months ahead with a hint of milder times. On average, precipitation remains at a cold-season nadir. Still, the month has provided many memorable snowstorms.

By Ian Livingston  |  11:40 AM ET, 02/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 02:10 PM ET, 02/03/2012

What does 1.7” of snow through January buy Washington D.C. for the whole winter season?

Only about 15 percent of all winters in D.C. have recorded as little or less snow than we’ve seen this year. We’re now running almost 7” below normal season to date and it’s leaving some wondering what our chances are to break even. A look at past occurrences and the historical record might offer a few clues.

By Ian Livingston  |  02:10 PM ET, 02/03/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 02/02/2012

Our gardens in a mild winter: the good, bad and beautiful

Let me say right off the bat, my garden does not look much different this year than any other year, except it isn’t buried under a snow drift! Why is that? Many of our plants evolved over the centuries to be more in tune with the dependable daylight hours than the more erratic temperature regime.

By David Streit  |  10:20 AM ET, 02/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 02:25 PM ET, 02/01/2012

Why was January 1950 so warm in Washington, D.C. compared to the mild 2012?

January 1950 was a shocking 12 degrees warmer than average in Washington, DC with 14 days above 60 degrees, including 6 above 70. By comparison, our very mild January 2012 was a mere 5 degrees above normal. What made January 1950 so warm?

By Jason Samenow  |  02:25 PM ET, 02/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Science

Posted at 11:21 AM ET, 02/01/2012

Very mild, dry January concludes, but month falls outside 15 warmest

The winter of 2011-2012 has taken on a completely different character compared to the previous few winters which started off cold. After the 6th warmest December on record (tie), January 2012 concluded with an average temperature 4.8 degrees warmer than normal (1981-2000 normal), the 17th warmest on record (tied with 1876).

By Matt Rogers  |  11:21 AM ET, 02/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Recaps, Local Climate

Posted at 02:07 PM ET, 01/31/2012

Record watch: Dulles hits 66, breaks 1993 record

At 2 p.m., Dulles Airport had climbed to 65, tying the record high previously set in 1993.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:07 PM ET, 01/31/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:27 AM ET, 01/30/2012

D.C. winter temperatures: what a difference a year makes!

The chart in this post does most of the talking: this winter has taken on a entirely different character from last winter. Whereas we spent most of our December and January days in the 30s and 40s during 2010-2011, this winter more than half our days have reached the 50s and 60s. Warmth, for the win!

By Jason Samenow  |  10:27 AM ET, 01/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 03:54 PM ET, 01/27/2012

New USDA plant zones clearly show climate change

Planting zones are retreating north all over the country, but the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) won’t state the obvious: the shift is a rock solid indicator of climate change.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:54 PM ET, 01/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Climate Change, Government, Local Climate, Gardening

Posted at 12:26 PM ET, 01/21/2012

Icy mix ends but refreeze tonight; snow/ice totals and photos

The first widespread accumulating snow and ice event of the 2011-12 winter is over. Although the mix of precipitation stuck to area roads and created slippery conditions overnight into this morning, major problems were averted as the storm coincided with light traffic volume.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:26 PM ET, 01/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Recaps, Winter Storms

Posted at 10:46 AM ET, 01/19/2012

Washington D.C.’s top 5 surprise snowstorms

If we look back at past decades, a few of the surprise snowstorms were quite large. I have researched the storms and rank the top 5 surprise snowstorms that have struck Washington, D.C. plus an honorable mention.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  10:46 AM ET, 01/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms, History, Local Climate

Posted at 11:37 AM ET, 01/18/2012

D.C. long-term snowfall still in decline

Even after the record-setting snowfall in 2009-2010, the long-term trend for snowfall in D.C. is downward.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:37 AM ET, 01/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 04:55 AM ET, 01/13/2012

The 30 year anniversary of the crash of Air Florida Flight 90

The snowstorm of January 13, 1982 will always be remembered for the terrible crash of Air Florida Flight 90. The death toll was 78, making it Washington’s second worst weather-related disaster.

By Kevin Ambrose  |  04:55 AM ET, 01/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  History, Latest, U.S. Weather, Local Climate

Posted at 11:19 AM ET, 01/12/2012

What is Washington, D.C.’s weather like in January? Breaking down norms and extremes

January is the heart of winter. Many years, there is no escaping the coldest average temperatures in the mid-30s. And for snow lovers, January cannot be beat. Normally, it tops all months with the highest snowfall average.

By Ian Livingston  |  11:19 AM ET, 01/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 09:55 AM ET, 01/10/2012

The overachieving snowfall of January 9, 2012

What was predicted to be a non-accumulating mix of snow, sleet and light rain turned into a surprising mostly snow event Monday, producing a trace to two inches across the region. Officially, National Airport received 0.6”, Dulles 0.5” and BWI airport 0.4”.

By Jason Samenow  |  09:55 AM ET, 01/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest, Recaps, Winter Storms

Posted at 10:26 AM ET, 01/03/2012

Warmest December since 2001, also wet

December 2011 offered a stark contrast to the last few winters. Following on the heels of a top-ten warm November, we also have a top-ten warm December. This year ties 1923 for sixth place with an average temperature of 45 degrees.

By Matt Rogers  |  10:26 AM ET, 01/03/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Recaps, Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 11:09 AM ET, 12/28/2011

2011 in Washington D.C.: Warm with extreme weather aplenty

Following 2010’s weather extremes in Washington, it seemed unlikely 2011 could rival it. Yet somehow it came close.

By Jason Samenow and Ian Livingston  |  11:09 AM ET, 12/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Recaps

Posted at 01:36 PM ET, 12/23/2011

Washington, D.C. Christmas weather history

The National Weather Service office in Sterling, Va., serving our region, put together an excellent overview of Washington, D.C. Christmas weather history, including white Christmas information. I republish it here and wish our excellent NWS office - which will work right through the weekend - the happiest of holidays...

By Jason Samenow  |  01:36 PM ET, 12/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 09:38 AM ET, 12/23/2011

Overnight rain drops about an inch

The best kind of rain drenched the soils last night, falling mainly between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., completely avoiding rush hour commutes. An average of about 1” muddied up the region with the heaviest amounts north and west of the District.

By Jason Samenow  |  09:38 AM ET, 12/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 02:01 PM ET, 12/22/2011

How unusual is this December warm weather?

December is on pace to finish in the top 10 warmest on record in the region.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:01 PM ET, 12/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 12/22/2011

Winter activities to keep a gardener occupied until spring

Certainly the last month has been a kind one to the late season garden with plenty of rain and relatively mild temperatures. Pansies are looking pretty good out there along with the cabbages and kales. It doesn’t look like any real cold blasts are coming any time soon either so more time to enjoy the hardy garden denizens. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some time off from the garden. But inevitably I find myself drawn to it. So what is a gardener to do this time of year?

By David Streit  |  11:00 AM ET, 12/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 09:03 PM ET, 12/21/2011

Record-setting warmth at Washington Dulles and Baltimore-Washington International airports

A mid-evening surge of mild air has pushed high temperatures at Dulles and BWI airports into record territory.

By Jason Samenow  |  09:03 PM ET, 12/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:03 AM ET, 12/21/2011

Winter solstice – and other interesting sun facts – explained

If you’ve grown weary of short days and are looking forward to more sunlight, you won’t have to wait much longer. Tomorrow is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, bringing us the shortest daylight period and longest night of the year.

By Justin Grieser  |  10:03 AM ET, 12/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Astronomy, Local Climate

Posted at 10:53 AM ET, 12/19/2011

Two years ago: Washington, D.C. crippled by Snowpocalypse

What a difference two years makes. While today it’s sunny with a high near 50, on this date in 2009,Washington, D.C.’s biggest December snowfall on record paralyzed the region. In all, 16-24” fell.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:53 AM ET, 12/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, History

Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 12/16/2011

What is Washington, D.C.’s weather like in December? Breaking down norms and extremes

Winter is here, especially if you follow the meteorological calendar which defines it as December through February. Whether you believe the season starts on the 1st of this month, or you follow the astronomical calendar which brings it along during the final third, the month heralds the start of the coldest time of year.

By Ian Livingston  |  11:42 AM ET, 12/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 02:35 PM ET, 12/15/2011

Two devastating graphs for D.C. snow lovers

Data plotted on two graphs paints a pathetic picture for Washington, D.C. snow lovers this winter.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:35 PM ET, 12/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Media, Winter Storms

Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 12/14/2011

White Christmas news and views

Capital Weather Gang’s winter weather expert yesterday became the grinch who announced White Christmas odds in D.C. are even lower than usual this year. Does he still think that today, do others agree, and is global warming changing the odds of a White Christmas?

By Jason Samenow  |  01:02 PM ET, 12/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Media, Climate Change, Local Climate

Posted at 12:48 PM ET, 12/13/2011

What about Santa, the elves, and snow? Assessing white Christmas odds in Washington, D.C.

Santa and his elves have commissioned the Capital Weather Gang to take an early look at the snow potential for the week leading up to Christmas in Washington, D.C.

By Wes Junker  |  12:48 PM ET, 12/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Holidays, Winter Storms

Posted at 10:31 AM ET, 12/12/2011

Washington D.C.’s first official freeze of the 2011-2012 winter, third latest on record

Temperatures hit freezing over the weekend, and this morning’s low of 19 at Dulles Airport was the coldest there since February 12.

By Ian Livingston  |  10:31 AM ET, 12/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 10:52 AM ET, 12/08/2011

The record breaking rain storm of December 7, 2011

Wednesday’s storm had it all: heavy mountain snow, raging wind, and severe thunderstorms in the Virginia Tidewater and southern Maryland. But it was truly exceptional as a rain-producer, and the wettest day Washington, D.C. has ever experienced during the cold season spanning November to March.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:52 AM ET, 12/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest, Recaps, Floods, Winter Storms

Posted at 01:53 PM ET, 12/02/2011

Can the snowy December 5 date deliver in 2011?

From 2002-2009, December 5 was dealt the hot hand for snow lovers. Will it snow on that date this year?

By Jason Samenow  |  01:53 PM ET, 12/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 02:20 PM ET, 12/01/2011

Nice, but dry November departs; 9th warmest on record

November 2011 will be remembered as a dry and warm month. In fact, the 9th warmest on record.

By Matt Rogers  |  02:20 PM ET, 12/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 01:19 PM ET, 11/28/2011

Tracking today’s temperatures: will records for warmth be set around Washington, D.C.? No...

The preliminary high temperature reports are in and it doesn’t appear records were set. Reagan National (DCA) hit 71, three of its record, Dulles 70, one off its record, and BWI 69, four off its record.

By Jason Samenow  |  01:19 PM ET, 11/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 11:13 AM ET, 11/22/2011

Washington D.C.’s Thanksgiving weather history

Thanksgiving in the nation’s capital is shaping up to be sunny and seasonably cool this year. But if you’re like me and usually celebrate Turkey Day in the D.C. metro area, you probably recall some years offering typical November weather and others that were nearly warm enough to consider moving the meal outside. At the other extreme, we’ve even had a bit of snow to accompany the turkey on a few rare occasions

By Justin Grieser  |  11:13 AM ET, 11/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Holidays

Posted at 11:58 AM ET, 11/14/2011

What is Washington, D.C.’s weather like in November? Breaking down norms and extremes

As November progresses, it usually becomes unmistakable that winter is around the corner. The days are short and the landscape begins to turn barren. Cold intrusions become more of a norm than a rarity as well, and on some occasions that cold air combines with moisture to produce an early-season snowfall.

By Ian Livingston  |  11:58 AM ET, 11/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, History, Latest

Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 11/10/2011

Appreciating fall, and preparing the winter garden to shine

Depending where you are in the area, the leaves are at the peak of their brilliance or falling fast! Despite the dry spells and deluges this summer, most of the colors came on pretty nicely. It is an annual delight to see those brilliant yellows of the gingko trees in Georgetown, russet beauty of the oak trees in Takoma Park and glowing oranges of the maple trees that line many of our streets throughout the area. But it is now time to focus on some of the other preparations for the winter season.

By David Streit  |  12:45 PM ET, 11/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 11/02/2011

Do October and November snow signal a snowy winter?

OK, so we had some snow in parts of our area last month (just a trace at Reagan National and .6 of an inch at Dulles), now that it’s November, we could have some more. Time will tell. (I don’t do the forecasting on this blog.) But what does October snow mean, if anything, for the rest of the winter as a whole? Curiosity got the best of me and, although it’s been done many times before, I decided to do some of my own research.

By Don Lipman  |  11:23 AM ET, 11/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms, Local Climate, Lipman

Posted at 02:07 PM ET, 11/01/2011

October recap: Cooler, wetter, snowier than normal

Looking back at October, the freakish snow event that hit the Northeast hard and grazed our region stands out most. The region experienced its first marginally measurable snowfall in October since 1979.

By Matt Rogers  |  02:07 PM ET, 11/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest, Recaps

Posted at 01:50 PM ET, 10/31/2011

“I never eat October snowflakes. I always wait until January.”

The snowflakes that fell in the immediate Washington area on Saturday were conversational, good for tasting, but not disruptive. Areas to the north and west of Washington, however, had significant accumulations and wide-spread power outages. Areas to the south and east of Washington experienced a cold, rainy day.

By Kevin Ambrose and Ian Livingston  |  01:50 PM ET, 10/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest, Photography

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/27/2011

Prepping the garden as winter approaches...

The weather has been pretty accommodating for gardeners in the past week, given the nice weekends. Moisture has been plentiful as can be seen in the map of the past two week’s rains. I have been busy getting my spots all plotted for those bushels of bulbs that have just arrived. The dormant season is approaching, but now is far from the dormant time for the gardener, so today let’s talk about getting the garden ready for winter.

By David Streit  |  11:00 AM ET, 10/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 10/21/2011

When should the Washington, D.C. area expect to see its first freeze of the cold season?

As we head through fall, the first freeze of the season is assured in only a matter of time. But, when is that time? Well, it depends on where in the area you are located. For many places, especially north and west of downtown D.C., a freeze can be expected before October is out. As you head into lower elevations to the south and east of D.C., or those close to warmer water, the wait often goes through November. Some years, spots even make it to December without one!

By Ian Livingston, Justin Grieser and Katie Wheatley  |  11:12 AM ET, 10/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, History, Latest

Posted at 01:59 PM ET, 10/18/2011

About 50 tornadoes in Virginia in 2011, second most on record

After 7 twisters touched down in Virginia last week, the 2011 count has risen to about 50*, second most on record (since 1950) for the state. 2011 ranks only behind 2004, when 87 tornadoes touched down, and just ahead of 2008, when there were 39

By Jason Samenow  |  01:59 PM ET, 10/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Thunderstorms

Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 10/18/2011

Grading our summer outlook

Hopefully the pleasant autumn weather of late has helped purge another brutal summer from your memory.  Unfortunately, we are here to remind you one last time before we can get on with the business of looking ahead to winter.  Here is a quick recap of our summer outlook. Although we did predict all three summer months to be warmer than normal, there will be no back patting.  With the second hottest summer on record, rivaling 2010, we missed the mark. 

By Matt Ross  |  11:42 AM ET, 10/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Capital Weather Gang, Extreme Heat, Local Climate

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 10/13/2011

Musings on a fall gardening weekend...

For once, the past two weeks have been pretty uneventful. Rains have been a little light but nothing bad, save for a few heavy showers this morning. Temperatures have been near normal. Why we even have the good weather coming on the weekends now! This brings me to the week’s discussion: musings while working in the garden last weekend.

By David Streit  |  01:00 PM ET, 10/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 01:38 PM ET, 10/07/2011

Is our current weather “normal,” or not?

With the recent release of the new climate “normals,” the perennial question rears its head, as it always seems to do every 10 years, if not sooner: “What does normal weather really mean?” Is it the weather to be expected or is it just an average of weather over the past 30 years?

By Don Lipman  |  01:38 PM ET, 10/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 10/05/2011

What is Washington, D.C.’s weather like in October? Breaking down norms and extremes

October and abundant sunshine often go hand in hand in the D.C. area, but the pattern is still a bit lazy compared to winter, so rains can come in heavy bouts over several days. When it comes to temperatures, averages are about as good as they get all year for some serious outdoor enjoyment! The shift toward colder weather is clearly evident though.

By Ian Livingston  |  01:30 PM ET, 10/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, History, Latest

Posted at 02:52 PM ET, 10/03/2011

Say goodbye to sunless September 2011

The cloud cover quantity in September was quite impressive as only TWO days qualified as mostly sunny (30% or less cloud cover). At Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), it rained on 60% of the days. Those rainy days piled up a 5.12” surplus of rain compared to normal (8.84” total!). Historically, that is the fifth wettest September on record. Despite a very wet month, it was still less than half of the record for the wettest September (a super-saturated September 1934’s 17.45”)!

By Matt Rogers  |  02:52 PM ET, 10/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 12:51 PM ET, 10/03/2011

D.C.’s weird weather: record cold, mountain snow and rainbows

The region’s experienced an odd mix of rain, mountain snow, record cold, and even rainbows in the past 24 hours. Here’s why.

By Jason Samenow  |  12:51 PM ET, 10/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Photography

Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 09/30/2011

Mold hits highest September level in ten year record Thursday

On Thursday, the count for mold spores in Washington, D.C. rose to 47,483 spores per cubic meter of air. That concentration was the highest in the U.S. Army Centralized Allergen Extract Lab’s ten year record for September according to Susan Kosisky, a microbiologist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center lab.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:15 AM ET, 09/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Health, Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 09/29/2011

Fall is here, but for gardens, time to think about next summer...

If you feel like our climate has shifted to rain forest, you are not alone. The damp mild weather is not a novelty here but the persistence has been. However, for those of us close to D.C., would you believe that over the past two weeks (prior to last night), our rainfall has been nearly an inch below normal? There is probably no need to run for the sprinkler as temperatures have been mild and humidity levels high. Last time we spoke it was to prepare for spring bulb planting. Today, we go even farther into the future and think about summer bulbs.

By David Streit  |  12:15 PM ET, 09/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 03:01 PM ET, 09/27/2011

Washington D.C.’s wettest stretches: how do August and September compare?

With deluge after deluge over the past one to two months, just how wet has it been in Washington compared to past rainy periods?

By Jason Samenow  |  03:01 PM ET, 09/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 03:36 PM ET, 09/26/2011

“Gray-tember” 2011: Your chance to complain

If you’re missing the blue skies, that’s because the last truly sunny day occurred September 13, almost two weeks ago.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:36 PM ET, 09/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 02:45 PM ET, 09/22/2011

Autumnal equinox marks the official start of fall Friday morning

While meteorological fall already began three weeks ago, the autumnal equinox occurs Friday at 5:04 a.m. (EDT), signaling the official start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. Besides ushering in a new season, the fall equinox marks the time at which the sun shines directly overhead at the equator, which results in nearly equal periods of daylight and darkness at all latitudes. Until the winter solstice in December, the sun will continue its southward migration towards the Tropic of Capricorn, bringing us increasingly shorter days and a lower sun angle in the months ahead.

By Justin Grieser  |  02:45 PM ET, 09/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Astronomy

Posted at 02:40 PM ET, 09/21/2011

Worst D.C. September weather in memory?

”Wake me up when September ends”: Although that Green Day lyric is so 2005, it probably has entered more than a few minds during this depressingly dim September. So far this month, we’ve had at least a trace of precipitation on 12 out of 20 days. And dismally, we’ve had only four days with more than 50% sunshine.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:40 PM ET, 09/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 02:18 PM ET, 09/16/2011

Are you ready for fall? Is there any summer weather left?

The onset of fall weather came abruptly last night. After more than 90 days when lows failed to even reach the 50s in D.C., we plummeted all the way into the 40s. And this afternoon’s temperatures are stuggling to reach the mid-60s, the coolest since early May.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:18 PM ET, 09/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 09/16/2011

Fall is here, but for gardens, time to think about Spring!

Hopefully everyone’s garden survived the deluge from tropical storm Lee’s remnants. We were stuck between a rock and a hard place with all of Lee’s voluminous moisture funneling up from the south and Hurricane Katia offshore, blocking it from progressing out of the area. While the onslaught of rain was one way to break a drought for good, it was probably not the best way. Fortunately, we are drying out nicely now as it is about time for one of my favorite garden endeavors, bulb planting.

By David Streit  |  12:15 PM ET, 09/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 10:10 AM ET, 09/15/2011

What is Washington, D.C.’s weather like in September? Breaking down norms and extremes

September may often be cited as the beginning of the “nice weather season” in Washington, D.C. Summertime heat and humidity are on the wane, and glorious sunny days are only sometimes stopped in their tracks by (often tropical and sometimes significant) rain events. As the month progresses, those overnight lows start getting back into the light jacket type of territory. Can talk of snow be far off?

By Ian Livingston  |  10:10 AM ET, 09/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest, History

Posted at 03:15 PM ET, 09/12/2011

National Weather Service: Ft. Belvoir rain was more than 1 in 1,000 year event, “off the charts”

On Thursday, September 8, Ft. Belvoir received an astounding 7.03” of rain in three hours. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), that amount of rain in that amount of time was an “off the charts above a 1000-year rainfall (based on precip frequency from Quantico).”

By Jason Samenow  |  03:15 PM ET, 09/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Floods, Local Climate, Latest, Climate Change

Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 09/09/2011

How does the early September 2011 East Coast flood event rank in the Washington D.C. area?

There are certain weather events that get etched into our memories because of their impact. This week’s flooding rains are sure to end up in that category for many in the Washington region. While the rain event is not completely over, some early comparisons can be made by taking a look at the historical record in the area.

By Ian Livingston  |  10:15 AM ET, 09/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Floods, Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 09/08/2011

Washington, D.C. flooding: What’s behind the rain train?

Relentless and punishing: words used to describe the heat in June and July can now describe the onslaught of torrential showers and thunderstorms since late Sunday. East of D.C., 6-10 inches of rain over the last four days has been common and widespread flooding has occurred. An uncommon combination of moisture streams has converged to make this prolific rain-producer possible.

By Jason Samenow  |  10:40 AM ET, 09/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Floods, Local Climate

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 09/06/2011

Rainy week: what’s the cause and how much?

The rain poured down fast and furiously last night producing 1-2” of rain across the immediate metro region, and up to 2-4” to the west and southwest. The rain, which prompted several flash flood warnings, was just the first of several waves of rainfall likely over the next few days. By the end of the work week, cumulative rainfall totals may reach 3-6” in the immediate metro region, with 4-8” towards the mountains. With in both of these areas, locally higher amounts cannot be ruled out.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:00 AM ET, 09/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Floods, Local Climate, Tropical Weather

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 09/01/2011

Cleaning up the garden after sloppy hurricane Irene!

I hope everyone is recovering from the wrath of Irene. Looking at some of those pictures of flooding in wetter areas up north, I would say our drought was our salvation. Having dry soils helped to keep most trees well rooted and safe from toppling, which would not have been the case if the ground had already been soaked. So I guess we can count our blessings in many ways.

By David Streit  |  03:00 PM ET, 09/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 09/01/2011

After manageably warm August, second hottest summer on record in Washington, D.C.

After our all-time hottest month on record in July, it was certainly a relief to see a change in the jet stream pattern over the mid-Atlantic by mid-to-late August. The big hot heat dome that dominated June and July resided primarily over the South Central U.S. in August (consider Houston’s pain- only one day of the entire month saw a high temperature below 100 degrees!). However, a cooler August did not allow us to escape the status as the second hottest summer on record- behind only last year (2010).

By Matt Rogers  |  10:15 AM ET, 09/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 01:15 PM ET, 08/31/2011

Dissecting the daily digit: History, seasonal averages, temperature trends, and other trivia

If you’re an avid reader of Capital Weather Gang’s morning forecasts, you have no doubt noticed that little box with the green number and a snippet of commentary, better known as the “Daily Digit.” We announce it on Facebook and Twitter the night beforehand. And depending on what kind of weather is your cup of tea on any given day, you may find our assigned digit to be too generous, too harsh, or sometimes just right. What is the daily digit, and how did it come about? For lack of a better definition, we define the digit as a somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10. It debuted on December 16, 2009, just three days before D.C.’s biggest December snowfall on record. Since then it has become an integral part of our morning forecasts – so much so that many of you have asked questions about the history of this arbitrary number. Today we’ll look at some overall trends and other interesting trivia in the daily digit’s now 20-month history.

By Justin Grieser  |  01:15 PM ET, 08/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Capital Weather Gang, Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 08/29/2011

Recap: Hurricane Irene’s rain and wind in Washington, D.C.

Around the Washington, D.C. metro region, Irene behaved largely as predicted (at least by the Capital Weather Gang), raking the I-95 corridor and points east with wind and rain, with steadily diminishing impacts as you headed west towards Loudoun and Frederick county.

By Jason Samenow  |  11:30 AM ET, 08/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest, Recaps, Tropical Weather

Posted at 09:20 AM ET, 08/15/2011

Late arriving Sunday rains produce wide range of totals through D.C. metro region

When the heavy rain finally arrived Sunday evening, it fell fast and furious. But, in some spots, it was pretty much a no show. Amounts were highly variable ranging from as little as 0.1” west and southwest of the District to almost 3” in portions of Montgomery and northeast Prince George’s county. The locations with the highest totals were subject to some extreme rainfall rates as well as an onslaught of lightning.

By Jason Samenow  |  09:20 AM ET, 08/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Floods, Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 02:45 PM ET, 08/11/2011

Washington, D.C. is in drought. Will weekend rains bust us out?

It’s official. Our region is in a drought. Neither severe nor expectional like in vast portions of Texas and Oklahoma, but a drought nonetheless. The good news is rain - perhaps substantial rain - is possible this weekend.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:45 PM ET, 08/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Droughts, Latest

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 08/11/2011

Moving plants can be a moving experience

I figured that while the weather took a little break from the baking we have seen all summer, this would be a good time to talk about moving plants. I have joked before that at this point in the life of my garden, I spend as much time rearranging plants as I do planting new ones.

By David Streit  |  10:30 AM ET, 08/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 02:55 PM ET, 08/09/2011

Is there a global warming signal in Washington D.C. summer temperatures?

There is no disputing D.C. summer climate has warmed markedly since record-keeping began in the late 1800s. There is an overall warming trend of about 3 degrees F per century - slightly greater at night and lower during the day. But what one might dispute is the cause.

By Jason Samenow  |  02:55 PM ET, 08/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Climate Change, Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 08/08/2011

What is Washington, D.C.’s weather like in August? Breaking down norms and extremes

Yeah, it’s still summer but we're used to it by the time August rolls around, right? Even though temperature averages are on their way down, August provides just a bit less in the way of heat than July but considerably more than June. And while it holds several rainfall records, recent Augusts seem a bit dry.

By Ian Livingston  |  10:00 AM ET, 08/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 03:15 PM ET, 08/02/2011

Will August be as hot as July in Washington, D.C.?

After a record hot July, should Washingtonians be dreading what’s to come in August? The good news is that August is usually cooler than July. The average temperature in July is 79.8 compared to 78.1 in August. But it can still be scorching. Take, for example, August 1980 which set monthly records for both average temperature (82.8 degrees) and the number of 90+ degree days (22). That made August of 80 only slightly less sweltering than July 2011, with an average temp of 84.5 and 25 90+ days

By Jason Samenow  |  03:15 PM ET, 08/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Extreme Heat, Local Climate

Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 08/01/2011

July 2011: The hottest month in Washington, D.C. history

Congratulations D.C.-area readers. You have just experienced -- or tolerated, survived, and suffered -- the hottest month in recorded history. We did it last July too, but this time we soared just over another degree on average to achieve an incredibly toasty 84.5F at Washington Reagan National Airport. That’s 4.7 degrees hotter than the new 1981-2010 normal or 5.3 degrees hotter than the old 1971-2000 climatological baseline. Also, it is slightly hotter than a normal July for Houston, TX and slightly cooler than a normal July for Dallas, TX. It’s like we were living in a whole different part of the country.

By Matt Rogers and Ian Livingston  |  10:40 AM ET, 08/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Extreme Heat, Latest

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 07/29/2011

Record heat: where’s the best and worst place to be?

As hot as it is, it begs the question, where are the best and worst places to be?

By Jason Samenow  |  12:30 PM ET, 07/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Extreme Heat, Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 07/29/2011

July 2011 to become the hottest month ever in Washington, D.C.

After last summer’s record-breaking heat, perhaps it seemed like we may have to wait a while to get back to those levels again. Sadly, not so! Thus far, this July has beaten July 2010 on almost every heat metric and it’s now poised to become the sole leader for hottest month ever in D.C. Yuck?

By Ian Livingston  |  09:00 AM ET, 07/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Extreme Heat, Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 02:15 PM ET, 07/28/2011

Watering tips for keeping up with our sneaky drought!

Oh what a summer this is turning out to be! If your lawn/garden looks like anything but the Mojave, give yourself a pat on the back. So what are we to do…water is the main solution at this point, plain and simple. The key is to try to make the most of the water you put down.

By David Streit  |  02:15 PM ET, 07/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening

Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 07/27/2011

Holy hot river! Potomac water temperature highest on record last week

Water temperatures on the Potomac River at Little Falls reached their highest levels on record last week, reaching as high as 96 degrees.

By Jason Samenow  |  03:30 PM ET, 07/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 07/27/2011

Sweat Ceiling, the sequel: Next bout of extreme heat and humidity nears

Although the current heat wave, defined as any stretch of at least three consecutive days at or above 90, has reached its tenth day, the drop in humidity since yesterday has provided a reprieve of sorts. Smitten by today’s low humidity, Twitter follower @aimster215 wrote: “Today=best 90 ever.” But tonight, the sinister southerly wind returns, amping up the humidity Thursday through Saturday. How and hot and humid are we talking about? When will it end? And what’s causing the heat?

By Jason Samenow  |  02:00 PM ET, 07/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Extreme Heat, Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 01:51 PM ET, 07/25/2011

Historic heat wave: Recap of Washington, D.C. 2011 Sweat Ceiling

Dangerous, oppressive, stifling. These words were repeatedly used to describe the historic heat wave that slowly engulfed the D.C. area by the middle of last week and earned the name “Sweat Ceiling”. This post contains a summary of all the heat records that were set in the past week.

By Jason Samenow and Justin Grieser  |  01:51 PM ET, 07/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 05:05 PM ET, 07/23/2011

D.C. breaks record high for the day... any storms?

The heat has been terrible again today, though thankfully the humidity has been lower than yesterday so the heat index has been more forgiving - to around 110 compared to Friday’s 120+. D.C. has broken its record high for the date, with National Airport reaching a high of 102 at 3:38 p.m. So far, no storms have affected the immediate metro area, but a few strong storms could still develop in spots into this evening.

By Dan Stillman  |  05:05 PM ET, 07/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Extreme Heat, Local Climate, Latest

Posted at 05:55 PM ET, 07/22/2011

PM Update: Historic heat and humidity broil region; excessive heat warning Saturday

Dulles and BWI airports blew by old record high temperatures for the date this afternoon, reaching at least 105 and 106, respectively. Dulles’ 105 is the hottest temperature ever recorded there. Reagan National’s heat index (factoring in humidity) reached 121 at 3 p.m., the highest known level since 122 on July 16, 1980. Excessive heat warnings remain in this evening and Saturday when dangerous heat is once again likely.

By Jason Samenow  |  05:55 PM ET, 07/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Forecasts, Local Climate

Posted at 09:50 AM ET, 07/22/2011

Second hottest night ever (tie) in Washington, D.C.

Reagan National Airport dropped to a mere 83 degrees this morning, which - barring a cooling thunderstorm this evening - will set a new record high minimum temperature for the date. Even more impressive, that steamy 83-degree low (assuming it stands) would tie for the second warmest low all-time in Washington, D.C. (since records began in the late 1800s).

By Jason Samenow  |  09:50 AM ET, 07/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Latest, Local Climate, Extreme Heat

Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 07/21/2011

Is this heat wave special?

Readers, radio show hosts, and even meteorologists are questioning whether this is an unusual heat wave. I keep hearing this is just typical July heat. No it’s not. Let me explain...

By Jason Samenow  |  04:00 PM ET, 07/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Extreme Heat, Latest, Local Climate

Posted at 02:20 PM ET, 07/20/2011

What are Washington, D.C.’s records for heat index and dew point?

Over the last few days, I’ve blogged about heat index values of 130 or higher in parts of Iowa and Minnesota and dew points (a measure of humidity) over 80 (any dew point over 70 means really high humidity). Has the District seen heat and humidity readings reach these levels?

By Jason Samenow  |  02:20 PM ET, 07/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Latest, Extreme Heat

Posted at 01:20 PM ET, 07/19/2011

90 degree days in Washington, D.C.: Yearly, seasonal and monthly averages and extremes

Even though the average high temperature never quite reaches 90, Washington hits at least 90 36 times in an average year. Of course, this average comes from some pretty wide swings, like going from 11 such days in 2004 to 67 in 2011. Find out just about everything you need to know about 90s in D.C., and let us know if there is something we’re missing!

By Ian Livingston  |  01:20 PM ET, 07/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Local Climate, Extreme Heat, Latest

Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 07/14/2011

Something’s eating my flowers and I like it!

All gardeners have their horror stories when it comes to caterpillars in the garden devouring their hard work. My pansies disappeared thanks to all the munching. But to my surprise, a couple weeks later the garden was aflutter with hordes of fritillaries! I was hooked on finding other ways to help promote the caterpillars

By David Streit  |  11:15 AM ET, 07/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Environment, Local Climate, Latest, Gardening