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Posted at 1:45 PM ET, 09/23/2010

Weather Channel: D.C. had worst summer in U.S.

By Jason Samenow

* Two more days of heat: Full Forecast | NatCast | Hurricane Tracking *
* Comparing, defining D.C.'s record summer heat *

U.S. Drought Monitor (as of today, 09/23) shows dry conditions and drought developing, especially west and northwest part of the metro region.

Of all this country's great cities, Washington, D.C. suffered through the worst weather conditions this summer according to The Weather Channel (TWC). Our Nation's Capital beat out Little Rock, AR (2), Des Moines, IA (3), Brownsville, TX (4), and Los Angeles, CA (5) for this unenviable distinction.

"It was really a combination of several factors that pushed DC to the #1 ranking," wrote Dr. Greg Forbes, TWC's severe weather expert and meteorologist Jon Erdman, in an email to the Capital Weather Gang (CWG).

TWC highlighted our region's record heat, three rounds of severe thunderstorms, and developing drought as rationale for D.C.'s top ranking.

D.C.'s combination of extreme weather bested (or more appropriately "worsted") 110 90+ days in Little Rock, 30" of rain and flooding in Des Moines, a tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane in Brownsville, and persistently gray conditions in normally sunny Los Angeles.

TWC's Forbes and Erdman attributed our region's heat to "persistent high pressure aloft from the mid-Atlantic States to the South" and noted "the intense heat and humidity increased the severity of the thunderstorms."

Will D.C.'s extreme weather continue into winter? TWC's Forbes and Erdman don't think so. They told us: "Unlike last winter's El Nino, this winter will feature La Nina, which, overall, tends to result in a warmer-than-average winter with near-average precipitation. La Nina winter snowfall in the mid-Atlantic states can be reduced by up to 50% vs. the 'typical' El Nino or 'neutral' conditions (not El Nino or La Nina)."

Of course, we'll issue our own winter outlook in late October or early November. So stay tuned for that.

By Jason Samenow  | September 23, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Extreme Heat, Local Climate, U.S. Weather  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Comparing, defining D.C.'s record summer heat
Next: PM Update: Hot today and scorching tomorrow


Did you, dear reader, feel impact from all three of TWC's summer criteria? (record heat, three rounds of severe thunderstorms, and developing drought)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | September 23, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I have a number of friends in the Midwest, and seeing their status updates on Facebook (flood, tornado warning, flood, and on and on) made me glad to be in the D.C. area.

That said, we were lucky in my part of FFX County. I'd feel differently if I was in MoCo and having my power go out in a storm just about every other day!

It was hot, but...I sit in an air conditioned office, drive an air conditioned car, live in an air conditioned house. Droughts are always worrisome, but for now I can still wash my dishes and take a shower. It didn't have the kind of visceral impact that the snowstorms did (hours of shoveling, days trapped in the house with 2 small kids, a tree falling in the yard, dangerous driving conditions).

But if I were an elderly person living without AC...

Posted by: stacylane | September 23, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse


I kind of agree with you. I'd take what we had over 30" of rain (in Des Moines) or 3 tropical systems in Brownsville.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | September 23, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sure Little Rock, AK didn't have 110 90+ days. Little Rock, AR might have...

Posted by: sarbec | September 23, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Stink bugs haven't begun their massive indoor migration yet. Have only zapped a half dozen so far; guess they enjoy flying around in the heat. So, this cauldron is good for something.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | September 23, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

So we had the snowiest winter in the continental U.S, and now the worst summer in the U.S. Don't you feel lucky? I'm being sarcastic there.

Posted by: rwalker66 | September 23, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

That doesn't even mention the record-breaking earthquake

Posted by: samdman95 | September 23, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"So we had the snowiest winter in the continental U.S, and now the worst summer in the U.S. Don't you feel lucky? I'm being sarcastic there."

Posted by: rwalker66 | September 23, 2010 4:30 PM

you know, i actually DO consider us lucky to have experienced that - especially in the same year.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | September 23, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I have lived in south Florida and northern Michigan and places in between, and have NEVER seen worse weather than DC. You can count the number of genuinely nice days per year on two hands, and no, you don't need to take your shoes and socks off for more, cuz there ain't no more. I am completely and utterly out of here in a few years. Everybody enjoy this lovely, 95 degree and humid late September Friday that is coming. Seeya.

Posted by: faygokid | September 23, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I love summer but I'm done. Enough. This better be the last 96 degree day for the year. Surrrsly!

Posted by: B-rod | September 24, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I swear, I've always been big on putting up with the weather, whatever it is, without complaining. This summer is the first time I've thought seriously about moving away from DC to get away from the disgusting heat and humidity. This is just not how civilized people were meant to live.

Posted by: csdiego | September 24, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Living in the Phoenix area, I always find this type of story humorous. I've lived through DC summers, and they can be rough. Summer's never a picnic here. One thing that can be counted on.

Posted by: ANCLvr | September 24, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

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