High temperatures set records today for the coldest they’ve ever been on the date. All local airports set new marks. A high of 19 at Reagan National bested 21 last set in 1961, a high of 15 at Dulles beat 20 last set in 1970, and BWI came in with 15 which undercut 19 last accomplished in 1961. After another frigid night, we warm up a just a little tomorrow.
Through Tonight: Mostly clear skies early trend cloudier as we go. But despite any blanketing effect, that fresh snow pack helps keep us extra cold overnight, with lows in the 5 to 10 range many spots, some valleys perhaps nearing 0 and downtown maybe struggling to make the single digits. Winds around 10 mph from the northwest early diminish to around 5 mph overnight and swing to the west more.
Tomorrow (Thursday): Overall a quiet day, and remaining quite cold. Clouds probably increase as we go, partly to mostly cloudy in the end. There may be some snow showers around late in the day or into evening as a weak disturbance passes by to the north. Conversational stuff for the most part. Our temperatures do moderate a bit, but moderate only means maybe mid-20s for the lucky ones? A few spots may stay colder than that. Winds increase in the afternoon as well, around 15-20 mph with higher gusts.
1.5 apples: A few schools may delay, a few may close (or already have closed), some may well open on time. Link: List of closings/delays.
1 dome: Expect the Federal government to open on time
Big-time cold: In addition to setting record low maximums at all area airports today, the average high of 14 places it among the coldest days in the past few decades, but half a degree warmer than we saw on January 7 this year. However, the last time we saw a daily high temperature in the teens was back in January 2009, when it only hit 18 on January 16, 2009. With at least two lows in the single digits or below now in the books for D.C. this winter (9 this morning), we have to go back to 1995-96 since we’ve seen as many or more. Two occurred then. Our next target there is six days in 1993-94.
A good old-fashioned snowstorm: The D.C. “streak breaker” brought snow to most of the urban corridor of the northeast, with maximums of over a foot near Philadelphia and in Massachusetts. Near blizzard conditions were also experienced across Cape Cod. In Philadelphia, this event was the third dropping 6 inches or more prior to February, the first time such has happened there. Reporters were out all over the region, freezing and having some fun.
Here’s a look at a handful of the totals across the northeast from the January 21 snowstorm…