Washington area residents put on their shorts and T-shirts and took to the streets and parks yesterday as the rare spring-like weather continued for a seventh day.
The temperature reached a high of 70 degrees at 1:30 p.m., yesterday -- making this the first time in a century that temperatures have risen into the 70s for a week in November. The last time there was a week of such warm and balmy weather in November was in 1879.
On the Mall, throngs gathered. Helen Young, in blue jeans and orange T-shirt, tossed a Frisbee to her son, Chaka. "Oh isn't it supper? I'm supposed to be at work," said Young, a legal secretary for a downtown law firm.
Jim Buchyusky of Potomac sat with cousins, sipping cold beer and playing cards under a tree.
"It's a lot warmer here than where we come from," said Bruce Buchynsky, who lives in Cleveland.
All around town people were out on the streets.
Spencer Taylor and Jim Bradford were playing checkers near Georgia and Florida avenues. "I think it's beautiful," said Taylor, looking up from the checker board.
"It's nice so far as saving on fuel," said Bradford. "But it seems when weather is this warm this time of year, you have a lot of illness,"
"I think it's God's blessing because of the (oil) crisis we are having," said the Rev. William Branch Jr., as he stood in front of a barber shop near 7th and S streets NW. "Even though we have a crisis, we are able to preserve fuel for the hard winter months ahead."
The unseasonable weather is expected to continue until Monday. Cloudy skies and scattered showers are expected today with temperatures near 70.
Although yesterday's high of 70 did not surpass the single day record of 74, recorded in 1958, it was still 18 degrees above the normal high of 52 degrees. The normal low for this time of year is 35 degrees.
The balmy weather is being caused by a high pressure system over the mid-Atlantic states that is being slowly pushed by a cold front that is stalled to the west of Washington. The cold front is expected to reach Washington by Monday or Tuesday. A southerly flow of air associated with the front is keeping the temperatures mild.