It was a day to challenge the cheerful. Friday had cold and it had snow. The gloom of night, as cited in the famous motto, was evident, and Friday also featured the gloom of day. And this ignored any gloom created by thoughts of sequestration.

Also, it came at a time when signs of spring might be expected. But on a date when the normal high temperature at Reagan National Airport was just one degree short of 50, Washington managed a high that was only three above freezing.

Rainfall was meager but measurable (.04 inches.)

Swirls of snowflakes were not measurable, but were visible, according to the National Weather Service, which listed the total as “a trace.” Sleet was also observed.

Sullen gray clouds were constant, covering the sky all day, the weather service reported.

Hazards to driving and walking loomed, as the weather service warned late Friday of freezing drizzle overnight.