Spring had little to offer the Washington region this year, and now it’s over. Looking at the near-term and long-term forecast, all we see are 80s and 90s. Summer has at last taken control.
You can pack away your fleeces, jeans and flannels. It’s time for T-shirts and flip-flops.
If your reaction to this end of spring proclamation is, “What spring?” We hear you. March and April, both of which were colder than normal, often felt more like winter.
Then, May, which is usually our nicest spring month, skipped ahead to summer. Twenty of 31 days hit at least 80 degrees (including four in the 90s), and it ranked third-warmest on record. When it wasn’t unusually warm and muggy, it rained and rained hard, so much that the month ranked sixth-wettest on record.
While we could’ve declared spring dead in May, we finally caught a taste of it in the past week. Four of the past seven days had highs below 80 degrees. Oddly, Monday’s rainy high of 67 degrees was the coolest since April 29!
The springlike week was capped off by Tuesday’s sparkling 79 degrees for the Stanley Cup parade. That morning, low temperatures dipped into the 50s (58 at Reagan National Airport). Now we may not see lows in the 50s again until September. NBC4 meteorologist Chuck Bell noted it hasn’t been below 60 in Washington in July or August in more than 10 years.
In the days and weeks ahead, we see no sign of a return to springlike weather. As our average high is now up to 83 degrees, and we’re approaching the June 21 summer solstice, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Both the American and European modeling systems forecast highs in the 80s to 90s over the next two weeks, taking us into the end of June.
Between Father’s Day and Tuesday, highs of at least 90 are likely, and some models suggest 95 to 100 are in play Monday and/or Tuesday. If you’re averse to such heat, models do not suggest the swelter will sustain itself and generally predict highs closer to normal in the mid-80s.
Our definition for the start of summer in the District is the point at which we no longer see potential for two or more straight days with highs below 70 degrees, and the forecast calls for the majority of days to reach at least 80 in the weeks to come.
Here are dates of our previous declarations, which began in 2015:
Even though summerlike weather arrived in Washington in early May this year, much as it did in 2015, it wasn’t persistent enough to rule the season firmly established until now.