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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 04/ 1/2010

PM Update: No joke, April off to very warm start

By Ian Livingston

Continued warmth leading to green explosion

* Back-door cold fronts and historic weather | No March freeze at DCA *
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What a day! Sun and light winds have combined to create a gorgeous one. Highs are now rising into the mid-and-upper 70s most spots, and it's just the start of a fairly long stretch of temperatures in this range. We're into the time of year where a south wind off the river can cause havoc for DCA (as if their snow problems weren't enough) and other near-water locations, so those are "cool spots" in the area with temperatures still in the low-or-mid 70s.

Webcam: Latest view of D.C. from the Netherlands Carillon at Arlington National Cemetery. Courtesy National Park Service. Refresh page to update. See this image bigger on our Weather Wall.

Through Tonight: It will be a great evening for any outdoor activities with temperatures falling to the mid-and-upper 60s around sunset. Mostly clear skies last through the night as lows range from the mid-40s to around 50. Winds will be light.

Tomorrow (Friday): Another perfect springtime day is coming up tomorrow. Tons of sun again, and probably a smidge warmer. Look for upper 70s to around 80 for highs. Winds remain light from the south or southeast.

See David Streit's full forecast through the beginning of next week. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Some April numbers: We're starting off April a good 10 to 15 degrees above "normal." Today's average high at National is 61, and we climb all the way to an average of 71 by the close of the month. Way back in 1924, things were looking a little different outside as the record snowfall for the month of 5.5" occurred on this date. The latest snow has accumulated in April is on the 28th when .5" fell, but that was in 1898 before the massive urbanization in the area. Good luck seeing that happen around here again!

By Ian Livingston  | April 1, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: DCA's snow totals may get adjusted higher
Next: Forecast: Gorgeous string of near-perfect days


Question: How would the urbanization of the last 110 years affect snowfall totals in April?

Posted by: antrob | April 1, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

antrob, it may not if conditions were perfect, but in 1898 snow was not measured at the airport (a warm spot) and the "heat island" would have been much smaller than today. I am in the middle of some research on snow history and it seems that (don't hold me to it yet) mar/april DC snow was more common long ago than it is today.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | April 1, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"I am in the middle of some research on snow history and it seems that (don't hold me to it yet) mar/april DC snow was more common long ago than it is today."

I'll be interested to see how it is you do that (and if you are simply looking for number of snowfalls or amount of snow). My assumption has always been that due to a lack of ample and accurate record keeping, charting and comparing the statistics of prior centuries was not really possible with any degree of accuracy. We don't call it the Washington/Jefferson snow storm for nothing. But I guess for events such as snowfalls, if you can simply identify that they occured, that would suffice (if counting occurances).

Posted by: amaranthpa | April 1, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

amaranthpa, going back that far is certainly difficult -- Kevin Ambrose has already done some fine research on events like that. Though there are clearly some big storms "missing" that may be in unoficial records somewhere. My main focus for now would be since records have been reliably kept.. back to the late 1800s. Even in that data you can see more numerous Mar/Apr events back early in the 1900s etc.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | April 1, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious to know more about this havoc at DCA. Advection fog?

Posted by: psilosome | April 1, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

psilosome, the water temperature (link observed slightly upstream) is running about 50-55, so a wind off of it can keep DCA cooler than most spots through a good part of the warm season -- it becomes less of an issue later in the summer. The warmest days at DCA (when it often tops the others) are with a mostly west wind off land (and coming off the hills/warming).

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | April 1, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | April 1, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

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