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Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 10/11/2010

Record watch: Dulles crushes old record

By Jason Samenow

Can National and BWI also make history?

* Cooler late in week: Full Forecast | U.S. lags in weather prediction *
* Outside now? Radar, temps, clouds & more: Weather Wall *

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map powered by iMapWeather (base map by Google). Click and hold on map to pan. Double-click to zoom. Refresh page to update. See larger map on our Weather Wall.

In what is almost certainly summer's last hurrah, temperatures today head for the mid-to-upper 80s.

The mercury has already sailed past Dulles Airport's (IAD) previous record high of 78 from 2001.

Reagan National's (DCA) record of 90 from 1919, the latest its ever hit 90, probably won't be matched or exceeded. Likewise, BWI's record of 89 from 1954 is a reach.

Track temperatures each hour below...

11 a.m.: IAD, at 77, is already just one degree short of its record. DCA is at 75. BWI is the warm spot, all the way up to 79.

Noon: Dulles has already obliterated its 2001 record, soaring to 83 at noon. Reagan National is really lagging, just at 77. BWI is up to 82.

1 p.m.: Dulles tacked on another degree, and is now up to 84. BWI did likewise, inching up to 83 Reaching the record of 90 is practically out of the question at DCA, as it's only up to 80 there.

2 p.m.: Suddenly, this has gotten interesting. DCA has surged up to 87. 90 might be in play after all. BWI is at 84, Dulles 85.

3 p.m.: 87 again at DCA. I suppose it may have hit 88 or 89 inter-hour, but we won't know until the National Weather Service issues its daily climate report around 5:30 p.m. The bottom line is that hitting 90 looks tough - unless we can spike in the next 30-45 minutes before we start losing a lot of sunlight. BWI is at 83, and Dulles 85.

4 p.m.: DCA is holding at 87 for the third straight hour. IAD is at 85, and BWI is up a degree to 84. Next update will be around 5:30 when the preliminary highs are released.

By Jason Samenow  | October 11, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Local Climate  
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What are your guesses for today's highs at the airports? I'll say: DCA 86 (river may cool by a degree or two, until/unless winds shift more from the west), BWI 87, IAD 87

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | October 11, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I think if it has to be this warm-let's go for the record. I guess 90 for DCA, 89 BWI and 86 IAD. :)

Posted by: soleil2000 | October 11, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Actually, the Dulles area probably got over 85 in both 1919 and 1954, but the airport didn't open until 1961 or 1962.

However both Centreville and Chantilly were in existence well before Dulles was built, and should have weather records going back to the late 1800's. There was a Civil War battle fought in Chantilly some 100 years before the airport was built. In fact that 78-degree record for Dulles is quite misleading since earlier records for Chantilly could be used for the general area. The old records for Washington are from the old downtown Weather Bureau office before Reagan National Airport opened in the 1940's.

BTW the 1941 Yearbook of Agriculture, my usual source for old records, provided me no help, as it has no Fairfax or Loudoun locations near Dulles and for Arlington County, only rainfall records for "Clarendon". [Now, there's an Arlington County weather station at the Clarendon Ballroom, in order to keep track of "much unneeded rain" hijinks!]

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 11, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

85 for a high at DCA. Even if all the politicans, pundits, etc. exhale at precisely the same instant during mid-afternoon, I don't think we'll hit 90.

There was a cloudy period this a.m. that kept temps from rising and it's still only 77 at DCA (11 a.m.).

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 11, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

wow...just (~11:00) got back from playing tennis and man it's HOT out there. i didn't see this one coming, but then again, my bad for not checking in here first....

anyway, while i was out there sweating up a storm i wondered if we had any chance in h-e-double-toothpicks of reaching 90 to break the record. can somebody go hold a lighter under the DCA thermometer....?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | October 11, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The area where Dulles Airport is now located was previously the village of Willard. Also, there was an airport in that area before Dulles; it was known as Blue Ridge Airport but only operated for a short while.

Posted by: FH59312 | October 11, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@FH59312, thanks for posting the Dulles link. I remember driving out to Dulles in Dec. 1965. In those days, cow pastures were about all one saw from the four-lane Dulles Airport toll road. It was bucolic, a far cry from the heavily developed, traffic clogged area it later became.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 11, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

87 at DCA at 2pm. Looks like we might hit 90.

Posted by: ajmupitt | October 11, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

88 at DCA now at 2:30pm

Posted by: ajmupitt | October 11, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Go for 91, set a new record. Meanwhile....

VALID 12Z MON OCT 11 2010 - 12Z THU OCT 14 2010

DAYS 1-3


Definitely less than 10%!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 11, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I remember my mom driving us out to pick up my dad at Dulles sometime in the mid-60s. It was at night and it was kinda spooky. As JerryFloyd said, there were no buildings between the Beltway and the airport. So there were no lights at night. And not much traffic, so for long stretches it felt like you were the only car on the road.

Posted by: -pj- | October 11, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Here's a record I'd like to bust this year; latest frost ever.
Our garden, rejuvenated by drenching rains & more moderate temps, has really started producing tomatoes again.
It's really quite warm today. But 90? Not quite.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | October 11, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

dang...we're not getting to 90. CWG, 'preciate your guys keeping track of how close we got and the hourly updates...

oh, well...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | October 11, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Folks-- I've posted a new PM Update with today's highs from the NWS (sneak preview, DCA hit 88).

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | October 11, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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