Inauguration Weather: Record Cold for Reagan
During the early-to-mid 1980s, the East Coast experienced some extraordinary cold waves that were dubbed the Siberian Express or Arctic Express. One of the last of these amazing cold waves occurred on Jan. 21, 1985, during Ronald Reagan's second inauguration. It remains the the coldest inauguration on record. The low temperature on Jan. 21 was -4°F and the temperature at noon was only 7°F. Wind chill temperatures fell to -10° to -20°F. The oath of office was moved inside to the Capitol Rotunda and the parade was canceled.
Keep reading for more on the extreme cold that impacted Reagan's second inauguration.
In contrast to the record cold of 1985, Reagan's 1981 inauguration set the record for the warmest January inauguration, with the temperature hitting 55 degrees at noon.
Before 1937, inaugurations were held in early March. The record cold March inauguration occurred in 1873, with Ulysses S. Grant, when the temperature reached only 16°F at noon. The low that morning was 4°F and the wind chill was -15°F.
For more information, the National Weather Service Sterling Office has a good Web site that documents the inaugural weather for each president: Presidential Inaugural Weather.
| January 13, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories: Inauguration, Inauguration Features, Photography | Tags: dc weather inauguration, inaugural weather, inauguration weather, Reagan inauguration weather, weather inauguration
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