Muggy, summer-like air pushed the temperature to a record high of 75 degrees yesterday as the Washington area remained in the grip of an errant warm air system that appears to have lost its sense of both timing and geography.
The official National Weather Service thermometer at National Airport registered 75 degrees at 1:30 p.m., surpassing the old record of 74 degrees set for the date in 1913. Yesterday's mark also follows a 75-degree reading on Thursday that equaled the record high for that date set in 1940.
In fact, the temperature has reached or exceeded 70 degrees for the last six days -- almost 20 degrees above normal each day -- and may do so again today, weather service forecasters say.
The unseasonable weather has been caused by an almost stagnant high pressure system over the mid-Atlantic states that is being slowly pushed out into the ocean by a cold front that was expected to reach the Washington area last night. A southerly flow of air associated with the front, however, will keep the temperatures mild today, forecasters said, and the temperature could reach 70 degrees once again.
Clouds and scattered showers are also expected today, and they will help bring temperatures down somewhat tonight and hold daytime temperatures tomorrow to the mid-60s.
Weather service forecaster Chet Hendrickson said that despite the so-called cold front coming through the Washington area, a return to normal temperatures is not expected here until possibly the middle of next week.
The normal high temperatures for this time of year is 53 degrees and the normal low is 36 degrees.