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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Temps spike to 70, warmest day since Oct. 28

By Jason Samenow
temps-0214.jpg
Temperatures as of 1 p.m. Monday. Source: Unisys Weather.

3:00 p.m. update Cold front has come through. Temps down to 66 at National and 61 at Dulles, with winds from the northwest gusting to around 40 mph.

2:30 p.m. update: Winds are starting to pick-up dramatically, especially in western Virginia. A gust of 49 mph occurred last hour in Winchester, and 43 mph in Staunton. Also, it's really dry - both relative humidity percentages and dew points are in the teens.

2 p.m. update: Reagan National has now reached 70 degrees. That's the warmest it's been since October 28.

From 1:30 p.m.: Here's a little something to warm your heart on Valentine's Day: Reagan National has reached at least 68 degrees today (eight degrees above our initial forecast, big whoops), making it the warmest day since November 23, when it hit 69. The record for the date is 73 from 1990.

(Check out our weather wall for other temps around the region)

Winds are just starting to ramp up, gusting to about 30 mph. A wind advisory remains in effect through 10 p.m. tonight.

Also of note: there is a red flag warning in effect for the region today. What's a red flag warning?

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now ... or will shortly. A combination of strong winds... low relative humidity... and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential.

Historically, we haven't consistently posted fire weather information on CWG as it's more of an issue in rural areas where there can be open burning. However, we can certainly post these alerts if readers would like. Let us know.

By Jason Samenow  | February 14, 2011; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Updates  
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Next: PM Update: Warm winds turning chilly

Comments

As one of your favorite posters, and someone who lives in a rural enough area that brush fires are definitely at least on my list of potential hazards, Id like for the Gang to post the Red Flag Warnings. Moreso than it being an issue In My Backyard, I think that the issuance of a Red Flag Warning is also a good indicator of just how dry the atmosphere and land are at a given time. The fact that we have fire issues in the DC-area in FEB is important to note if we stay dry thru the early Spring. Drought issues...

Posted by: DullesARC | February 14, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

ok, so I'll admit it's nice out...but I still think forecasters underpredict high temperatures any time there's a warm spell in the fall/winter months. This isn't aimed so much at CWG (who provide explanations for why the weather did what it did). I'm talking more about the sensationalist TV and radio newscasters (WTOP comes to mind), who love to point out that temperatures climbed "alllll the way up to 70 degrees!" in that tone as if they had noooo idea that would happen.

My bias here comes more from my parents who say any time it gets unusually warm in the winter, the temperature ends up 10 degrees warmer than predicted. A few days ago, they said "you know when they say 60, that means 70." So my guess is 67 on Friday means more like 75? I'm not saying this hint of spring isn't "warming my heart" this Valentine's Day. But let's not act so surprised when it's even warmer than forecast.

Posted by: meteorolinguist | February 14, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

70!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I think today's warm temps mean that either Thursday or Friday we see temps hit over 70. Longer range temp forecast can be low because the model output statistics based on the model forecasts tend to go towards climo at the longer time ranges and the climo is considerably below what the temps will be on Thursday and Friday. The reason you go towards climo is if you miss the timing of a front by a day then you don't get killed so badly when verifying your forecast. When all the ensembles and operational models are in good agreement and the 850 temp gets towards 12C, then you probably are going to be in the 70s.

Posted by: wjunker | February 14, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"National." Just "National" will do it.

and +1 for the red flag alerts. What's going on in the rural areas is relevant to our climate in the city as well.

Posted by: ennepe68 | February 14, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Also speaking of airports, ground delays@ IAD due to winds.

Posted by: ennepe68 | February 14, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Do we have a shot at the record of 73?

Walking outside without a coat this afternoon - priceless!

And I agree with the fire warnings - someone might decide to do something like barbecue if it's this warm outside.

Posted by: MKoehl | February 14, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

If today was supposed to be 60 and we got 70, does that means Friday's 70 will really be 80?

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 14, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

As to red flag warnings... with most non-sloping ground being much like wet marshes right now, is it the low humidity and dry (above shoe level) wood that drives this?

How long does it take wood to dry out? I would figure most brush and branches on the ground to still be quite moist.

Posted by: Virginiadude1 | February 14, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

My snow dreams are melting in this weather! Sad face.

Posted by: Yellowboy | February 14, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

ennepe68 - you don't like that DCA has two presidents' names in it? ;) and wow, wind delays! It seems reasonable though, with these gusts.

MKoehl - indeed nice to walk without a coat. Perhaps time for a car wash to get all the salt off? I saw one reader on Facebook was considering doing this today. Very warm!

rwalker66 - short answer is yes; see more detailed answer, above, from Wes Junker here (bold comment)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I just saw the 3pm update. Unbelievable! I've been trapped inside all day at work so I missed the warmth. By the time I get off work it's going to be ice cold again. People will say "Did you enjoy the warmth?" and I'll have to say "What warmth? It was 45 when I came to work and 45 when I got off work". What kind of warm up is this? A 6 hour warm up in the middle of the work day?

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 14, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Just saw a car fire on Route 50 in Chantilly right over the Loudoun County line.. It was blowing out of control luckily the fire dept. came and put it out quick. They were definatly on top of things!

Posted by: teebyrd86 | February 14, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

rwalker66, right with you. Missed it entirely working indoors. I don't even have a window.

Well, I'd rather have snow in Feb., but if that's not it, then warmer temps will do just fine! Just no more biting cold without precip!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 14, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

our high was 24 degrees above normal. at this rate, it's gonna be 120 degrees by the weekend! and you heat wavers will want more. ;-) my daughter just came home and changed into shorts.

CWG,
what was the most below normal for a daily high and daily low over this past winter? i get the sense that today is more abnormally warm than any day this winter was abnormally cold. and we might be 10 degrees higher than this by friday. wow.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 14, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I like having the fire weather info. Good idea; keep that.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 14, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Already a couple of brush fires today in Anne Arundel County - red flag warnings seem appropriate.

Posted by: maus92 | February 14, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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