The Washington Post

From snow to 90 in 5 days in Washington, D.C.: it’s possible

Jet stream (left) takes big northward excursion into eastern Canada, allowing warm air to bubble up East Coast Monday (right) (

Consider just yesterday temperatures struggled to pass 50 and snow and sleet mixed with rain showers passed through the region. Frost advisories cover our north and west suburbs tonight.

But the big dip in the jet stream behind the short-lived cold shot is moving out. In its place, a huge bump or ridge of the jet stream is moving in. That will open up the warm air tap, elevating temperatures to some 15-20 degrees above average Sunday through Tuesday.

It’s weather whiplash.

Forecast weather map for Monday shows high pressure off the East Coast, directing warm southwesterly winds through the mid-Atlantic ahead of a cold front in the Midwest. (National Weather Service)

These forecast highs, while unseasonably warm (more characteristic of June), would not be record-breaking. The record highs Sunday through Tuesday at Reagan National are 89, 92, and 95.

The combination of the warmth, dry soil conditions, gusty breezes from the southwest, and low humidity, may reignite conditions conducive to the spread of fire.

“The area from southern New England and New York state to Virginia and North Carolina seem to be at greatest risk for the wildfire weather,” said Accuweather.

The U.S. Drought Monitor published today stated the D.C. region is abnormally dry. Rainfall this year is 4.4” below average.

Cooler weather and the possibility of some much needed rain showers arrive Tuesday night into Wednesday.

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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