From the ABC 7 Weather team

First 90 degree day in D.C. possible, plus a look to the past

May 12, 2014 - 08:41 PM
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Tuesday may be the first 90 degree day of 2014. Where does this stack up in the past 5 years?

The highest temperature recorded in the D.C. area so far this year was 87 on May 8. By this time last year, D.C. had already recorded its first 90 degree day, but we're not behind schedule for 2014. Here's a look at when Reagan National recorded its first 90 degree day over the past 5 years.

First 90 degree day over the past 5 years

You can see last year it was on the 10th of April, which was also a record high for the date. 2009 and 2010 also recorded their first 90 degree day in April, but both 2011 and 2012 didn't experience them until late May. Looking back to 2008, it didn't happen until June 7th! Looking back further, there were only 6 times that temperatures reached 90 degrees prior to May over the past 20 years.

First 90 degree day in the past 20 years

Tuesday legitimately has a chance to hit 90 in the region. Temperatures are exceptionally warm out ahead of a cold front which should enter the region by Thursday night into Friday. Here is a look at the forecast temperatures from the 18Z 4km NAM for 3pm Tuesday. Though it's not the most trustworthy model, the fact that it reaches the low 90s gives me a little more confidence that it may reach 90 degrees at Reagan.

18Z 4km NAM forecast for Tuesday at 3pm (Courtesy: WeatherBell)

My limiting factors would be if winds are southeasterly as forecast tomorrow, that may make it a little cooler with winds off the cooler Potomac. Typically southwesterly or westerly winds are better for hotter temperatures at the observation station. Higher dew points in the mid 60s may also hinder it reaching 90 degrees, since it is more difficult for humid air to warm. I guess only time will tell!

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