It marks yet another major warm weather milestone for the capital, all of which have occurred since 2010.
As the Capital Weather Gang’s Justin Grieser wrote last month, in an unchanging climate, we would expect a balanced ratio of warm records and cold records. But that’s not what we’re seeing. Since 2010, warm records have outnumbered cold records over 16 to one. We’ve seen 115 record warm temperatures and just seven cold records — and that doesn’t include significant events like “warmest fall” or last year’s unbelievably warm December.
These are the effects of a warming climate, scientists say, and they will continue as long as the global community uses fossil fuels as its primary source of energy.
Record autumn details
The average temperature in D.C., for September, October and November combined was 63.9 degrees. It was 0.6 degrees warmer than the previous record warm fall of 2007.
The season was one of the driest, too. Reagan National Airport only reported 4.16 inches of rain this season. On average, it would get just over 10 inches across the three months. It was the seventh driest autumn on record and it drove us into a moderate drought, which forecasters at the U.S. Drought Monitor say will be difficult to rise out of unless we get a series of storms in December that we’re just not seeing in the outlook.
Washington was not the only warm spot in the autumn. Almost the entire United States was warmer than normal.
Looking at just November, temperatures were 3 degrees above normal, ranging from an overall high of 83 degrees to a low of 32 degrees.
Precipitation in D.C. was a shocking 2.41 inches below normal. We only received 0.76 inches of rain last month, making it the ninth-driest on record, tied with November 1936. Interestingly, Dulles Airport and Baltimore were not as dry thanks to last-minute rains on Wednesday night. Dulles picked up a daily record with 1.31 inches and Baltimore recorded 0.97 inches.
- Nov 3: Record high temperature of 83 bests 80 from 1974.
- Nov 19: Record maximum snowfall of trace ties 1984.
- Nov 30: Rainfall record of 1.31 inches beats 1.15 from 1967.
November forecast review
How’d we do?
The temperature forecast
I favored an average temperature around 50 (just above normal). Reality: 52.5.
The rain forecast
I forecast a range of 2.25 to 3 inches. Painful reality: 0.76 inches (Dulles: 1.77 and Baltimore: 1.51)
Slight miss on temperature and BIG miss on precipitation. Let’s see if we can catch up in December!
Jason Samenow contributed to this post.