Afternoon highs in the 70s - though mild - have been nothing out of the ordinary; record highs are in the 80s. But the tropical flow ahead of the giant Midwest storm has flexed its muscles after dark holding nocturnal temperatures at historically warm levels. The low Tuesday morning at Reagan National was only 63 degrees, tying the record high minimum from 1971. On Wednesday (yesterday), the low was a balmy 68 besting the record high low of 66 in both 1920 and 1977.
Reagan National's (DCA) record high today is 94 (from 1970). The hottest it's ever been (since records began) after September 23 is 96. Will we match or best either of these benchmarks?
D.C.'s official weather station -- Reagan National Airport -- is still three 90-degree days away from breaking the 90+ record of 67 set in 1980. But the deed is done out at Dulles Airport. Thursday's high of 93 at Dulles not only tied the record high for the day, but put Dulles over the top for most 90+ days in a year.
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, AK (2), Des Moines, IA (3), Brownsville, TX (4), and Los Angeles, CA (5) for this unenviable distinction.
As we approach the autumnal equinox on Sept. 22, it's time for one final look at just how hot it was this past summer in the D.C. area and beyond. We've already reported that the meteorological summer of 2010 -- June, July and August -- was the hottest on record in Washington, and that Baltimore broke its record for the most 90+ degree days in a single year. Now comes word from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental group, that out of the 1,218 weather stations in the contiguous United States that are part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Historical Climatology Network (HCN), 153 recorded their hottest summer on record, and nearly one in three stations recorded average temperatures among their five hottest on record. Furthermore, the new report states that nearly one in four weather stations in the HCN had their hottest average nighttime lows ever recorded.
While D.C. is 6 days away from breaking its record for 90+ degree days, Baltimore has already done it.