If you have been keeping track, winter has been absent in the District. One freak winter storm across the region in October, but nothing even close to that has even come close in the District.
As a matter of fact, the temperature this morning at Washington, D.C.’s official reporting weather station, Reagan National, dipped below freezing (29 degrees) for the first time since March 3, 2011! Not only is this much later than the average first freeze, which is November 13th, but this ties as the third latest freeze on record. Now, keep in mind the temperature usually gets moderated by the Potomac River at Reagan National while Dulles International, much farther away from the river, has seen 22 days at or below freezing so far this season.
Meanwhile, the average temperature, when factoring in the lows and highs for each day so far this month at Reagan National is 3.2 degrees above average!
Only a Trace of snow has fallen at Reagan National this month, with normal snowfall to date for December being 0.6 inches. No snow fell in November, putting Reagan National another 0.5 inch behind for the season. Typically, 0.1 inch falls in October, based on the 1981-2010 averages. Only a Trace accumulated (Dulles recorded 0.6 inch, due to its location away from the warmer Potomac River). Therefore, for the 2011-2012 winter season, snowfall is 1.2 inches below average.
Is there any winter weather in the making? For snow lovers, it doesn’t appear so. The pattern favors warming temperatures into the 50s and 60s through the middle of the week as the cold high pressure in place this weekend moves east and allows a warmer southerly flow to commence. A cold front will move through closer to the weekend with little fanfare other than a few rain showers.
In the extended through the end of December, the upper-level winds support only glancing blows at seasonal temperatures. The heart of the Arctic air remains bottled up well to our north. Another potential storm could bring rain early next week. A persistent high pressure ridge off the Southeast Coast will likely keep the storm track to our west, resulting in the District being on the warm side of any weather systems that move out of the West or Plains and head into the East through the end of the month and year.
On a side note, while the days are still getting shorter, there’s a silver lining to those who like to enjoy more sunshine in the evening.