Reagan National Airport recorded its warmest year on record in 2012 with an average temperature of 61.5 degrees. This was an exceptional 3.3 degrees above average for the year compared to the 1981-2010 climate normals. Reagan was not alone either as Dulles Airport recorded its warmest year on record and BWI Thurgood Marshall recorded its third warmest year on record. The average temperature would be comparable to the normal annual temperature in Atlanta, Oklahoma City and San Jose.
*A huge thank you to the team over at the National Weather Service in Sterling, VA for putting all of this information together. You can find the original public information statement here. They always do a fantastic job at getting this climate information together in a timely matter so we can forward it along to the public.
The area had its warmest spring on record with temperatures 5.7 degrees above normal for the period which included the warmest March on record with a temperature departure of 10 degrees above normal! Below is a look at each month in 2012, its average temperature, temperature departure from normal, and the ranking of each month (e.g. 1 for March means it was the warmest March on record).
- 2012 temperatures by month at Reagan National Airport
Looking at that list, you can see 11 out of the 12 months were above normal with November being the only colder than normal month of the year. Also, 6 out of 12 months were in the Top 6 warmest months on record, including March which was warmest on record.
Another list the National Weather Service compiled was for each season and parts of the year. I think they may have been having fun when they thought to do this! It is very interesting, however, with some things to take away from it as well.
- 2012 temperatures semiannually and by season at Reagan National Airport
It is crazy to see that Winter, Spring and Summer were all in the top 5 warmest on record, and even with Fall at the 38th warmest on record, the warmest year on record was still reached.
Dulles Airport recorded its warmest year on record with the old record back in 1998. BWI Marshall trailed only 1931 and 1949 by 0.6 degrees with an average temperature of 58.6 degrees. Meteorologist Jacqui Jeras also helped me find that Trenton, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Binghampton, NY, Syracuse, NY, Albany, NY, Memphis, TN and Chicago, IL were also amongst the places that recorded the warmest year on record.
For a side note on the Washington area observations, records go back to 1871 for Washington D.C. and Baltimore but only go back to 1962 at Dulles Airport.