A bitter blast of winter hit D.C. hard Monday and Tuesday with a fresh coating of snow and bitter cold temperatures. We woke up to a range of 3-9" of snow across the region. Here's a look at the snow cover in the Mid-Atlantic.
With a blanket of snow on the ground, it acts like a refrigerator and keeps us cold. Snow has very high albedo, a measure of reflectivity. As the sun shines down on earth, the snow is an efficient reflector and much of the energy "bounces" back into space preventing us from warming up much.
The effect is a lot like wearing white clothing in the summer versus a black outfit. Which would you be more comfortable in? Black absorbs the sun's energy (I plan to wear black the rest of the week, BTW... haha). So, with nothing but white on the ground, temperatures dropped to all time record lows this morning.
Dulles dropped to -1 degree which is not only a daily record, but also ties the coldest temperature ever recorded in the month of March. The old record was set March 15, 1993.
Baltimore Washington International Airport broke both records with a low temperature of 4 degrees. The old record there was 5 degrees set on March 4, 1873. Washington, D.C. did not set a record with the low temperature of 14 degrees at Reagan National Airport (D.C.'s official measuring location), but it is the lowest temperature ever recorded in March since the station was moved from it's downtown location in 1945, according to the National Weather Service.
The good news is that today will be the coldest of the week and we will slowly warm up into the weekend. However, as we take a peek at next week.....
- (Temperature Departure Forecast Next Week)
Not exactly what many of us wanted to see.