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Posted at 9:50 AM ET, 01/12/2009

InaugurationCast: Will Cold Stay or Will it Go?

By Capital Weather Gang

Testing the limits of long-range forecasts

* The Calm Before the Cold: Full Forecast Through Inauguration Weekend *

Since Jan. 2, Jason Samenow and Dan Stillman have provided dueling forecasts for Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. Starting tomorrow, 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 and a look at past inaugural weather.

Last Friday, Jason and Dan pondered: "Can Cold Blast Last?" That remains the salient question for this Inaugural forecast. The other question which has emerged is whether a storm could threaten just before or on Inauguration day? Keep reading for Jason and Dan's latest thinking as well as reader predictions and some more Inauguration weather history...


Today's Update:: As Inauguration Day draws closer, the weather outlook doesn't look any easier to predict...yet.

For me, the nagging question is whether the cold pattern -- which I'm very confident will move in later this week -- will retreat by Inauguration Day. There are some indications it may, at least partially, but probably not enough to boost temperatures to normal (high in the low 40s) or higher. The other nagging issue is that it can be stormy during pattern transitions, but indicators about storminess have been inconsistent.

At the end of the day, I see no pressing reason to change the original forecast I made Jan. 2. which calls for slightly below average temperatures and the possibility of precipitation on the eve of or during Inauguration Day.

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

Today's Update: While I think the serious cold expected by this Friday will have eased by early next week, my confidence is increasing that temperatures will be near to below normal around the time of Inauguration Day (and thus my confidence is increasing that my worthy competitor to the left may be declared the winner of this duel, as he's gone colder than I have from the start!). So I'll drop my temperatures significantly from my previous forecast.

Some of the long-range model guidance has also hinted at a storm system nearby within a day or two of Inauguration Day, but it's still too early in the game to put much stock in that. So I'll stick with my 30% chance of precipitation, but with the potentially colder temperatures I'll throw snow in along with the chance of rain.

The Bottom Line...
* Morning low: 25-30
* Swearing In (noon): 30-35
* Daytime high: 35-40
* Weather: 30% chance of rain/snow
* Confidence: Low-Medium


Posted by samdman95

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 spa1

Well, since I've been praying on the I Day weather conditions for oh about 5 months now. I am predicting that it will revisit 1951.

Morning Temps-40s and 50s
Swearing in-a whopping 65 degrees amidst Sunshine and Blue skies!!!!
Afternoon High-a Toasty 70 degrees-the record high from 1951 for Jan. 20..


Nixon: 1969: Noon Temp: 35F. It was cloudy with rain and sleet later in the day.

Nixon, 1973: Noon Temp: 42F. It was cloudy and windy.

Carter, 1977: Noon Temp: 28F. It was cold and sunny. The wind chill temperature was in the teens.

- National Weather Service

By Capital Weather Gang  | January 12, 2009; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  Inauguration, Inauguration Forecasts  | Tags:  dc weather, dc weather inauguration, inaugural forecast, inauguration forecast, inauguration weather, inauguration weather forecast, obama weather, washington inauguration weather  
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Next: A Treasure Trove of U.S. Weather Records


My initial prediction

If you attend the parade or swearing in, wear warm clothing. We dont want folks to get sick. given that, I think we still have enough time to eke out normal snow this winter.

Posted by: pvogel88 | January 12, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I predict it is going to be very cold....below freezing but to us folks here in Va -- 70's and warm in front of the TV. :)

Posted by: photojenn | January 12, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

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