Winterlike chill has arrived in a big way in the Mid-Atlantic, with Washington just one city in the region waking up to record-breaking lows this morning.
A low of 26 degrees in Washington — as observed at Reagan National Airport — was enough to tie a record for the date that was set in 1973. Baltimore also tied a record of 21. Dulles Airport fell short of its record in the mid-teens, but a frigid 21 there is still about as low as the temperature gets this early.
While the broader Northeast has been visited by many record highs over recent years, a record low is much less common these days. For instance, this is the first record low in November for Washington since 1976. It is the first record low overall in the city since February 2015. That one was the first since May 2002.
Friday night was extraordinarily cold for this early in the year. It was also the first freeze for a majority of the D.C. region, and across the coastal Northeast. Much of the area that had not yet seen a freeze as of earlier in the week, shown in the tweet below, picked one up last night.
Expanding the sub-32° crowd… ORD/BUF/ROC are in, DCA/PHL/NYC/BOS coming in two days. pic.twitter.com/bWX8ZnfXUH
— Tony (@whatdoweseehere) November 9, 2017
As we discussed while the freeze was looming, the D.C. region has a wide range in expectations of the first freeze.
A first freeze holding off this late is quite unusual for the western suburbs, and even areas east of D.C. that are not right near a warmer body of water. In the city, the average first freeze is still about a week away, and this was the earliest freeze since 2006.
Dulles managed to miss a tie for its latest first freeze on record (since 1963) by a few hours. That mark, set on Nov. 11, 2005, will stand. The airport reached freezing by 8 p.m. last night, allowing the first freeze to fall on the 10th this year.
For the first time ever recorded (since 1963), our climate sites at Dulles, Reagan National, BWI and downtown Baltimore have all had their first freeze on the same date. All four sites hit 32 before midnight this evening, with none having had a freeze this fall before today.
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) November 11, 2017
Since the main local climate stations all reached freezing before midnight, the first freeze for this year will go down as Nov. 10 at all three Washington-region climate locations. In something of an oddity, there was no instance of Washington, Baltimore and Dulles all reaching freezing for the first time on the same date until this year.
This was an all-encompassing hard freeze across the Northeast. Records were most focused from our region, then into New York and New England.
A sampling of newly-set record lows includes 24 in Central Park, 22 in Atlantic City, 17 in Pittsburgh and 16 in Syracuse. Temperatures in the teens and single digits were observed from northern parts of the Mid-Atlantic into New England. Mount Washington in New Hampshire recorded a low of minus-9!
It will remain unusually cold today and tonight, but as strong as this cold shot is, it’s also a quick hitter. Temperatures will be headed back toward normal for this time of year across the Northeast as we get into early week.