The Washington Post

It has stopped raining in D.C. on weekend days, and it’s glorious

Sunrise at the Tidal Basin, Saturday, August 16 (Navin Sarma Photography via Flickr)

We’re in the midst of a distinct rainfall drought, yet lawns are lush and green and there’s no talk of water shortages. You see this “drought” only applies to the weekends, when rain has more or less refused to fall for over 4 months.

Almost all of the rain has come during the week and at night, meaning – for 20 straight weekends – Washingtonians have been able to go about their outdoor plans with hardly any wet weather interruption.

Since April, spanning 40 days, just 0.17 inches of rain has fallen in D.C. (as measured at Reagan National Airport) on the weekend and during the day.  If we include the overnight hours, the total rises to a mere 1.11 inches.

The weekend rain drought has come during a period of overall rainfall excess, making it even more remarkable.  With the exception of June, every month since April has had above normal rainfall, leading to a surplus of nearly 6 inches (5.82″).

If the rain was proportionately distributed, 28 percent (or 2/7ths) of it should’ve fallen on the weekends, or about 6.3 inches of the 22.1 inches that has fallen.  Instead, just 5 percent of our rainfall  (1.11 inches) has fallen over the weekends (again, much of it at night) or 18 percent of what should’ve fallen.

Even when rain has been in the forecast on the weekend, it has often failed to materialize. (See for example, from July 27: Sometimes big thunderstorm forecasts fizzle: what went wrong Sunday…)

Very comfortable temperatures have complemented the dry weekend weather.  Over the 40 weekend day stretch with almost no rain, the average high has been 81 and average low 62.  The mercury only passed 90 on two of those 40 days – in the heart of summer July 12 and 13 – when the highs reached 90 and 94.

We have a decent chance to extend this nice weekend streak to the coming weekend, with relatively low chances of rain and comfortably warm high temperatures around 80.

Related: D.C.’s amazing weekend weather streak defies belief and is better than you think


Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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