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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/19/2009

After the deluge: The cold, hard local climate facts

By Jason Samenow

* Four days of sunshine: Full forecast *

rain-game.jpg
Rain made for a soggy situation at the North Point vs. Westlake football game Friday night, but fans came prepared in Waldorf, Md. Photo Credit: Freelance Photo

The recent bout of cold and rain was not only annoying, but also -- at times -- record breaking.

Here are some interesting climate notes I compiled (with assistance from some informed posters at EasternUSWx Forums) from our five days of cold and rain, spanning Wednesday to Sunday...

  • Record low maximum temperatures were shattered at Reagan National (DCA) on Friday (45) and Saturday (47). The previous records were 51 (1940) and 54 (1991), respectively. This was the first time DCA has had back-to-back record low highs in October since 1891 (hat tip Weather53 at EasternUSWx).

  • BWI and Dulles (IAD) airports tied record low highs of 50 and 51, respectively, on Wednesday. BWI set new record low highs Thursday through Saturday of 48, 43 and 45, respectively, compared to past records of 50 (1876) , 52 (1940), and 53 (1991). IAD also experienced record low max temps those days, only reaching 49, 44 and 45 compared to past records of 55 (1978), 53 (1974), and 49 (1976). .

Keep reading for more climate factoids...

  • BWI's high of 43 on Friday was the earliest 43 or colder high on record since 1871.

  • To state the obvious, lots of rain fell Wednesday through Sunday. DCA, BWI and IAD recorded 2.60", 3.19" and 2.26", respectively.

  • At DCA, rain or drizzle was observed for an impressive 71 straight hours (one of the observations was fog/mist, but we'll count it. Hat tip: Matt Ross)

  • While a few wet snowflakes were seen early Sunday morning in northwest Montgomery county, there was enough to whiten the ground not far away. 0.3-0.5" of wet snow was reported in parts of Baltimore and Carroll counties.

  • Sunday morning, DCA dropped below 40 for the first time this fall - about on schedule. Over the last 10 years, the average date for the first sub-40 reading has been October 21. Here are the other years: 10/24/99: 39; 10/9/00: 38; 10/8/01: 38; 10/18/02: 39; 10/3/03: 39; 11/6/04: 37; 11/11/05: 38; 10/13/06: 39; 11/7/07: 39; 10/20/08: 38 (Hat tip: Matt Ross)

By Jason Samenow  | October 19, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Local Climate, Recaps  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Four days of sunshine
Next: PM Update: Frost advisory tonight; warmer Tues.

Comments

Add to this the fact that the "Much-needed Rain" crowd outdid even their previous capacity to throw a bunch of raw crud at us! We hope they can give us a new snofall record for Dec. 25 as payback.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 19, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"This was the first time DCA has had back-to-back record low highs in October since 1891." No, not quite, by at least 49 years:

Means, Extremes, and Hype-ocracy

Posted by: CapitalClimate | October 19, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Capital Climate is simply arguing semantics. See the data for yourself.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | October 19, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Great stuff!

Posted by: nlcaldwell | October 19, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Samenow, did you consider assigning this post with the "climate change" tag?

Is it not climate change related? Didn't you write, "Here are some interesting climate notes I compiled ..."

If the record breaking cold falls under, as you say, climate notes, then why not tag it "climate change"? Or is it only "climate change" when the temperature is going up?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | October 20, 2009 2:34 AM | Report abuse

When I was a young man, we called this climate note/change "fall". It usually preceded the climate note/change known as "winter".

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | October 20, 2009 2:38 AM | Report abuse

I think I have cracked the code!

When the temperature is going up, it is "climate change".

When the temperature is going down, it is a "climate note".

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | October 20, 2009 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Q-- My post is focused on local climate -- which I cover frequently (see our local climate category), not global climate change (generally covered by Andrew, and once in a while by Steve Tracton, Ann Posegate, and Matt Rogers; see the climate change category)

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | October 20, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Samenow wrote, "... not global climate change (generally ..."

Oh global climate change.

Like this global climate change by Robert Henson which highlights record temperatures at Regan Nation Airport?

Or this global climate change?

Thank you for the clarification.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | October 20, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If record high temperatures at Regan National Airport can be tagged with "Climate Change", it would seem reasonable that record cold temperature in D.C. could also be tagged with "Climate Change", regardless who wrote it. Unless of course you aren't permitted to tag it with "Climate Change".

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | October 20, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

If you don't tag this with "Climate Change" you are simply validating my previous comment.

When the temperature is going up, it is "climate change".

When the temperature is going down, it is a "climate note".

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | October 20, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@Mr. Q

The articles you link to explicitly discuss or make a connection with the issue of climate change. This article above simply summarizes the records and other significant statistics associated with a recent weather event in the D.C. area.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | October 21, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Dan,

Did you even read the article that I linked to?

I ask because you say that the above article (the one directly above this comment, and not the article I linked to) "simply summarizes the records and other significant statistics associated with a recent weather event in the D.C. area."

Regardless of how you would characterize the above article, I would argue that the article I linked to "simply summarizes the records and other significant statistics associated with a recent weather event in the D.C. area." Specifically Regan National Airport. Which, quite ironically, Jason writes about in this article!

But don't worry. I get it. When the temperature trend is upward, it is proof positive of "climate change". But when the temperature trend is downward, it means nothing; a "climate note" at best. Therefore, why would one include the "climate change" topic in their article which discusses record breaking low temperatures? And since "climate change" wasn't a topic of the article (Duh! Why would it be? It was record breaking low temperatures. Not high temperatures.), you couldn't possibly tag it "Climate Change"; regardless of how similar it is to the other article which you did tag "Climate Change". Is that correct?

Let me ask you one simple question -
Do you only write articles about global warming and record temperatures when the records being broken are record highs?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | October 21, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

That wasn't a trick question Mr. Stillman. And it doesn't strike me as a particularly difficult question.

Do you only write articles about global warming and record temperatures when the records being broken are record highs?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | October 22, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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