For people who hate letting go of summer, this is your year. Even into mid-October, hints of fall are few and far between.
Most days over the past month have seen highs above 80 degrees and, in recent days, humidity levels have been astronomical.
We’re leaving home without a jacket, sometimes sweating through our clothes, and air conditioners hum constantly.
The abnormally warm pattern is not changing any time soon, and this October in Washington is set to rank among the warmest ever.
But the lowering sun angle and progression of the calendar means it will turn cooler, and summer’s grip will loosen, over the next two weeks.
What’s happened so far
When meteorological fall officially began Sept. 1, it looked like autumn was ready to take control. The first third of September was the coolest in 82 years. But summer said: Nope.
Between Sept. 12 and 28, every day but one hit at least 80 degrees — that’s 16 of 17 days. Three of those days surpassed 90.
The 70s briefly returned to close September and start October before we rolled off six straight 80-plus days Oct. 5 to 10 — tied for the fifth longest such streak on record for the month.
From Oct. 8 to 10, low temperatures only fell to 75, 74 and 72 degrees — all daily records. The low of 75 on Oct. 8 was the highest ever recorded in the month of October.
In recent days, humidity levels have been incredible.
The dew point, a measure of humidity, remained at least 70 degrees for nearly three straight days Oct. 8 to 10 — the longest stretch on record for the month by far, nearly doubling the next longest streak (1.5 days in 1959). Whenever the dew point is 70 degrees or higher, it is very uncomfortable outside.
So far, October is running more than 8 degrees warmer than normal, and fifth-warmest on record — conditions best resembling those typical in Savannah, Ga., according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center.
Summer is taking a breather through Friday — not because the pattern has changed, but simply because of low clouds and rain, which will put a lid on temperatures. When the sun comes back this weekend, so will the abnormally warm weather. Both days are forecast to reach around 80 degrees.
For Washingtonians ready for some real fall weather — which is apparently quite a large number — a taste is coming early next week. Computer models forecast highs of 60 to 65 degrees next Tuesday and Wednesday behind a strong cold front sweeping through Monday.
Temperatures are then expected to warm up again later next week and are forecast to remain above average even beyond that.
But by mid-October, average highs fall into the 60s. So even “above average” temperatures would fall into the 70s rather than the 80s.
Could we see more 80-degree weather after this weekend? Sure. But it would take a special set of circumstances, and such warmth probably wouldn’t have a lot of staying power.
In other words, everyone who is ready for fall is about to get fall . . . albeit a mild version. Fleeces and blue jeans will have their time soon enough.