There are many years in which Washington never hits 98 degrees even in July and August much less October. In records dating back to 1871, 40 percent of years never reached such a temperature according to Capital Weather Gang information lead Ian Livingston.
The unseasonably hot weather seemed to make many Washingtonians, yet to witness much fall-like weather, irritable.
“I am irrationally angry at the weather,” tweeted @Jerdlngr. “I just want to take hot showers and sleep with a quilt and wear handknits and be allowed to use the oven again.”
“I went for a run during this time and it was terrible,” added @dmontenegrox3. “I cannot believe how hot it is for this time of year.”
In addition to breaking the monthly record, the 98-degree reading shattered the previous daily record for Oct. 2 of 89 degrees set in 1986. That record was actually first broken at noon, after the mercury leaped 10 degrees in just one hour, from 83 to 93.
Baltimore and Dulles also topped their highest October temperatures on record, hitting 98 and 96 degrees. Baltimore’s previous October record was 97 set in 1941, whereas Dulles’ was 94 in 2007.
Both locations sailed past their previous daily record for Oct. 2 of 89 set in 1986.
In Washington, Wednesday marked the 62nd day at or above 90 degrees in 2019, ranking as the third most on record in a calendar year, only trailing 1980 and 2010, which had 67 such days.
The abnormally hot weather follows what was the third hottest September on record, with 25 of 30 days in the 80s and 90s, and the seventh hottest summer on record (using the June through August definition).
Wednesday’s exceptionally high temperatures resulted from an intense, sprawling heat dome over the eastern third of the nation. This heat dome was responsible for 16 monthly high temperature records in the interior eastern U.S. on Tuesday before the blistering heat shifted toward the coast on Wednesday.
A cold front pushing into the region is set to cool temperatures by Thursday, with highs mainly in the 70s (except 80s in our southern areas).
This latest example of historic extreme heat in Washington fits into the sudden increase of such events since 2010 during which the city has observed its three warmest years on record, warmest two springs, hottest four summers, and warmest fall.
It is also consistent with the increase in temperatures expected due to climate warming from increasing concentrations of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning.
Temperatures in the 2019 have not only been abnormally warm in Washington, but averaged across the planet. The northern hemisphere just posted its hottest summer on record and the Earth, overall, is projected to have one of its warmest five years on record in 2019.