The Washington Post

Arctic blast may blow in for Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C.

The European model shows a strong Arctic cold front slicing through the mid-section of the eastern U.S. on Sunday. (

Computer models are starting to come into agreement that a powerful arctic cold front will plunge southward Sunday, sending temperatures plummeting just in time for President Obama’s second inauguration Monday, January 21.

Temperatures on Jan. 21 may not rise above 40 and could even remain sub-freezing. Highs below 32 would represent the coldest air in D.C. in about two years (not since January 22, 2011 when the high was 28).

The average high for the date is in the low 40s.

The GFS model shows temperatures from 35 to 40 degrees in the D.C. area at 1 p.m. Jan. 21 (

If the front slows down a bit and doesn’t arrive until later Monday, conditions may not be as cold - perhaps into the 40s, but might be somewhat more windy.

The European model shows temperatures only in the 20s over the D.C. area at 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 (

We will keep you posted on the forecast and provide additional details in the coming days. We are still forecasting at a range where confidence is just low-to-moderate. But indicators of colder than normal weather are becoming more compelling, for inauguration day and especially beyond.

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.


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