The Washington Post

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

Warmest March-May temperatures recorded at Reagan National Airport (DCA). Italicized temperature indicates average through May 23. (Capital Weather Gang/NWS)

Through yesterday (May 23), the monthly average temperature at D.C.’s Reagan National Airport was running 4.3 degrees F above normal. A slightly warmer-than-average April on the heels of unusual March warmth has brought D.C.’s 2012 springtime temperature up to 61.4ºF, or 4.9 degrees above the March-May average of 56.5ºF.

Steve Scolnik of CapitalClimate reports that the average spring temperature in 2012 easily surpasses D.C.’s current record-warmest meteorological spring of 60.7º in 1977.

With summerlike warmth and continued overnight lows in the 60s for the next several days, it’s unlikely that Spring 2012 will fall into second place. High temperatures around 90 degrees this Memorial Day weekend will only amplify an already warmer than average May. For perspective, Reagan National Airport has recorded only two cooler-than-average days this month (May 10-11), and each of those days was only 1ºF below normal. Before that, D.C. last recorded a below-average temperature on April 30.

Warmest March-May temperatures recorded at Washington-Dulles Airport (IAD). 2012 will likely become the second-warmest spring recorded there. Italicized temperature indicates average through May 23. (Capital Weather Gang/NWS)

Record warm spring in the U.S.

Surface temperature departures across the continental U.S. from March 1-May 19, 2012. (NOAA/ESRL)

The map to the right illustrates surface air temperature anomalies across much of North America since March 1 of this year. Orange and red-shaded areas indicate temperatures around 3-4 degrees above normal. As 90-degree temperatures are forecast from the Central Plains to the Ohio River Valley and mid-Atlantic this holiday weekend, we shouldn’t expect the overall contours of this map to change much as spring comes to a close next week.

Stay tuned for more updates next month…


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