Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
The new Washington
Post Weather website
Jump to CWG's
Latest Full Forecast
Outside now? Radar, temps
and more: Weather Wall
Follow us on Twitter (@capitalweather) and become a fan on Facebook
Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/17/2010

Winter's abrupt end

By Jason Samenow

* Glorious stretch of weather ahead: Full Forecast *

feb-mar2010.jpg
Graph showing shift from highs below 50 and lows below freezing in February to highs above 50 and lows above freezing in March.

After crushing us December through February, winter has gone away with barely a whimper this March. So far this month, we've reached 50 or better every day except March 2, 3 and 4 -- that's 13 out of 16 days. Recall we hit 50 just once the entire month of February. Last March was much fiercer by comparison, when we only made it to 50 or higher on 6 out of the first 16 days, with a streak of 5 consecutive days in the 40s March 12-16.

Keep reading for more on the rapid switch to above average temperatures this March...

For the last 12 days temperatures have been above average. Even our recent cloudy and cool stretch (Friday through Monday) ended up above average (each day) because of relatively mild nighttime lows. Amazingly, the temperature has not dropped to freezing at National Airport (DCA) the entire month. The last time it hit freezing was Feb. 27 (when it dipped to 31 degrees). Last year on the other hand, we had three straight nights in the teens in early March (March 2-4).

Might we not experience a freeze the entire month of March at DCA? It's possible, as mild weather is expected for the next five days. On the other hand, there is some indication of a shot of cold air next week.

For those who consider winter over according to the meteorological definition of March 1, this year's weather certainly supports that notion based on the observed weather of March 1-16 and the forecast weather of March 17-20. By the time astronomical spring (i.e., the equinox) arrives March 20, true winter weather will have long departed. Of course, by saying that, we'll probably get a blast of cold and/or snow to end the month (as in 1891 and 1942: March is fickle)...

By Jason Samenow  | March 17, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Local Climate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Several days of spectacular weather
Next: PM Update: About as good as March gets

Comments

It has been a mild time recently when clouds/precip are not around. I was thinking the "flip" seemed a bit stronger this year than recent, hopefully it lasts!

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 17, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Wonder when the last snow pile melts.

Eisenhower ave in alexandria is where it was all dumped, and they are moving it around with front end loaders.

Posted by: pvogel88 | March 17, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

For practical purposes the threat of snow is probably gone until Dec. 5, 2010. We could still get some conversational flurries during the next month, however.

The primary threat this spring will involve hail. Hail is more likely before June 15 because the air at higher altitudes is still cold from the past winter. In fact, the combination of rapid surface warming, moisture advection and leftover cold air aloft during April is what's responsible for the frequent "April showers". Instability precipitation reaches its height next month, and may continue off and on through July since ground heating is strongest under the direct sun at the summer solstice.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 17, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Great graph. And the graph of low temperatures accurately tracks my pollen suffering :-) ah well. Wish we had some intermittent dips below 32, but alas. I can't always get the gradual allergy attacks lol; great weather with sunshine is also welcome!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | March 17, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the low temps for March are higher than the high temps for February.

Posted by: wiredog | March 17, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Manassas VA saw first blooming daffodils today also frogs/toads peeping like mad in Manassas battlefield park.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | March 17, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@wiredog

Good observation...

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | March 17, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I feel like I'm asking a rather amateurish question here, but let me shoot away:

I was looking at the 20 closest CWOP stations today, in relation to my own. So far tonight, I am recording the highest temperature at 52(F), while most others are between 44-46(F). At the same time, my RH reading is around 35%, whereas the other locations with lower temperatures have RH readings of between 60%-80%. I have always noticed that it becomes more humid at night, as opposed to the daytime, especially when temps. are warm, but I've never pondered the relation between Temperature/RH variations such as I am witnessing firsthand now. Could someone please explain what I am witnessing here? I know that the RH generally decreases with daytime sunlight/heating, and vice versa, but I'm simply wondering why my readings are managing to stay drier and warmer than many of the other surrounding spots.

Btw, my low temperature readings often reach roughly the same temps. as the other stations nearby right around sunrise, but it simply takes mine longer to achieve such. I live in a slight gully, with a creek out back, and my station is situated about 15-20 ft. above the ground (5-7 ft. above the surface of the wooden deck (Which is away from any artificial heat sources)). It also has a Passive (Gill) Radiation Shield.

Posted by: TheAnalyst | March 18, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Hello,everybody,the good shoping place,the new year approaching, click in. Let's facelift bar!
===== HTTP://loveshopping.us ====

Air jordan(1-24)shoes $33

UGG BOOT $50

Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35

Handbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35

Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $16

Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30

Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $16

New era cap $15

Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $25

FREE SHIPPING

Posted by: linjian76 | March 21, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Hello,everybody,the good shoping place,the new year approaching, click in. Let's facelift bar!
===== HTTP://loveshopping.us ====

Air jordan(1-24)shoes $33

UGG BOOT $50

Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35

Handbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35

Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $16

Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30

Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $16

New era cap $15

Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $25

FREE SHIPPING

Posted by: linjian76 | March 21, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Hello,everybody,the good shoping place,the new year approaching, click in. Let's facelift bar!
===== HTTP://loveshopping.us ====

Air jordan(1-24)shoes $33

UGG BOOT $50

Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35

Handbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35

Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $16

Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30

Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $16

New era cap $15

Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $25

FREE SHIPPING

Posted by: linjian76 | March 21, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2012 The Washington Post Company