Washington passed a major milestone Tuesday on the annual march into the swelter of summer, marking its first official 90-degree day.

At Reagan National Airport, where the District’s official readings are taken, the mercury rose to 92 degrees, only three degrees below a record set in 1881. The figure was five degrees above the previous high for the year: 87 degrees, reached Thursday.

About three dozen 90-degree days typically occur here yearly.

Dulles International Airport also recorded a 90-degree reading, the year’s first there and two degrees below the 2000 record.

In the evening, pockets of thunderstorms, many of them relatively brief in duration and limited in area, nevertheless created atmospheric drama.

Skies turned ominously dark, winds strengthened, lightning flashed, and here and there, rain fell, all of it providing another hint of summer, when such storms often follow a sultry afternoon.