The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Saturday started the unofficial start of summer, and did well

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As the first day of a weekend often considered to be the unofficial start of summer, Saturday carried a weighty weather burden. And in its vital role as the opening day of Memorial Day weekend, Saturday seemed to give a splendid performance.

If this be summer, we might have told ourselves, make the most of it. Saturday, in its abundant brightness and comfortable warmth, seemed the sort of day to be exploited and enjoyed without shame or guilt or desire for something more.

It suggested that summer in Washington did not have to be all stickiness and 90-degree temperatures.

Confining ourselves to the parameters measured by the thermometer, Saturday certainly seemed to hit its marks.

In Washington, as of 5 p.m., the mercury reached a high of 80 degrees. That is the average high temperature in Washington on May 28.

True, the morning’s low temperature did not match the average low for the date.

But it was close.

At 5:12 a.m. Saturday, the mercury showed a morning low of 63 degrees. The average low for the date was one degree lower, at 62.

It is possible, of course, that on some future May 28 in Washington, both high and low will duplicate the averages perfectly. Until such a day, Saturday seemed almost beyond challenge as informal gatekeeper to summertime.

In addition, Saturday seemed to score well when judged against standards other than the purely numerical and statistical.

It appeared to represent what in both meteorology and dispute resolution is called a clearing of the air.

If only by contrast with stormy, windy, rainy Friday and its weather watches and warnings, Saturday seemed benign, pleasurable, beguiling and inviting.

Bring us more such days, many might have asked, silently or aloud, of the rulers of summer.

Saturday had many periods of bright sunshine, with plenty of blue sky above us.

Clouds did appear in profusion. Very often they were spanking white, the sort that serve as perfect complements to the blue heavens.

Some clouds did also seem gray. Occasionally they covered the sun and a sudden coolness, and shadow seemed to steal over the city. But it did not seem too cool, nor did Saturday’s shadows seem too deep or dark.