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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 01/ 9/2009

InaugurationCast: Can Cold Blast Last?

By Capital Weather Gang

Testing the limits of long-range forecasts

* Wintry Mix Tomorrow? Full Forecast | Capital Weather Gang Turns 1 *

What's better than one Inauguration forecast? How 'bout two? Through Jan. 13, CWG's chief and lead meteorologists -- Jason Samenow and Dan Stillman, respectively -- will provide dueling forecasts for Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. Starting Jan. 14, we'll shift to a single CWG team forecast, in hopes of more confidently honing in on the forecast details. Check back daily for our latest thinking, a look at past inaugural weather, and a sampling of what you, our readers, are predicting.

Jason and Dan last chimed in on Wednesday. Still 10 days away, neither have enough confidence in the forecast data to change their tune at the moment. But keep reading for blurbs from both of them on what changes they might be leaning toward. We also have two new reader predictions, and two more installments of inauguration weather history -- all after the jump...


Today's Update:: The cold pattern, which more than likely blasts into the area in the middle to latter part of next week, increasingly looks like it may have some staying power. So while I'm currently forecasting slightly colder than average weather, I may have to adjust temperatures down in the coming days. Still too soon for me to say any more about the chances of storminess...

Previously... I'm sticking with my previous forecast for the time being.

The real question is whether the ridge in the jet stream in the West forecast by long-range models to develop will hold. If it holds, we'll have a dip in the jet stream over the East that will likely bring us colder than average weather. If it breaks down, we'll have more moderate conditions with Pacific rather than Canadian air. I'm betting on the colder scenario -- but it's a close call.

Storminess remains nearly impossible to predict this far out, but my gut feeling suggests there will be some within a day or so of inauguration that will add a wrinkle to the forecast.

The Bottom Line...
* Morning low: 28-33
* Swearing In (noon): 32-37
* Daytime high: 36-41
* Weather: Cloudy
* Confidence: Low

Today's Update: It's looking more and more likely that we'll see some serious cold in the nation's capital mid-to-late next week. Does it last into early the following week all the way to Inauguration Day? Or do temperatures moderate by the 20th? No way to say right now, but if I change my forecast soon, odds are it will be in the colder direction, not warmer.

Previously... The extended range indicators are leaning toward temperatures slightly below normal around the time of Inauguration Day. I'm not ready to go full force in that direction, but am bumping my forecast down a couple degrees.

Also, I don't see anything in the data to justify changing my initial stab of a 30% chance of rain, with frozen precipitation staying north and west of D.C.

As I expected, the atmospheric index known as the NAO is forecast to be in the positive range, which as Jason recently explained tends to limit snow. So, I'll stick with my call against a big winter storm.

The Bottom Line...
* Morning low: 29-34
* Swearing In (noon): 38-43
* Daytime high: 43-48
* Weather: 30% chance of rain.
* Confidence: Low


Posted by Sterlingva

Leftover flurries from the modest snow (occuring the day before and during the night) ending during the early morning. Quickly becoming mostly sunny, with the bright sunshine boosting temperatures from 29-33 in the morning to 41-45 around noon- swearing in. Clear, deep blue skies during the afternoon. Afternoon high: 43-47.

Posted by skywatcher1

I can't make an educated forecast, but I am praying for 12 degrees and ice. Lots of ice.

Note: If you want your Inauguration forecast featured here in one of the coming days, summarize your prediction in a comment below.


Kennedy, 1961: Noon Temp: 22F. Snow into the early morning left 8 inches on the ground. It was sunny but cold the rest of the day.

Johnson, 1965: Noon Temp: 38F. Skies were cloudy and one inch of snow lay on the ground.

- National Weather Service

By Capital Weather Gang  | January 9, 2009; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Inauguration, Inauguration Forecasts  | Tags:  dc weather inauguration, inaugural weather, inauguration forecast, inauguration weather, inauguration weather forecast, weather inauguration  
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Next: Forecast: Another Wintry Threat by the Wayside?


The way this winter is going, i predict 32.1 degrees with 2 inches of rain, while to our north, places like hagerstown get 2 feet of snow

Posted by: samdman95 | January 10, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

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