NowClear, mild. Despite northwesterly breezes, temperatures reached 50° or higher throughout the Washington metro area this afternoon. The official high was 51°; the low so far of 42° is just 1° below the average high for the date and 43° above the record set in 1899. BWI and Dulles were both at 50°. The national weather map shows high pressure from coast to coast with the only significant precipitation in the Pacific Northwest and extreme northern Rockies.
Tonight and TomorrowContinued clear and seasonably mild. Clear skies should continue through tomorrow, with lows tonight from the mid 30s downtown to the upper 20s in 'burbland. Tomorrow will be even milder than today, highs near 57°.
For the outlook through the rest of the week, scroll down to Jason's post below.
Season of LightsThe upcoming seasonably mild and dry evenings provide a last chance this week to enjoy the Garden of Lights display at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton. The scenes displayed in lights include a rainstorm, lightning, and a rainbow. Even with over 600,000 lights, it was a little hard to tell in the dark, but some kind of cherry-like tree was in full bloom there last night. That would be consistent with reports from several site visitors in recent days and an article ("Trees Abloom Amid Winter Warm Spell") in yesterday's WaPo.
ISO Snow IVIf nothing else works, try a time machine: The 1780 major East Coast snowstorm noted tersely in "Today in Weather History" was the second of three major nor'easters from Virginia northward over a 10-day period which "rank with the greatest such combinations in our meteorological history", according to the definitive work on the subject, "Early American Winters", by David Ludlam. Following these storms, snow covered the fence tops in southern Connecticut and depths in the woods were 42-48 inches. Drifts were estimated at 6 to 10 feet in New Haven, on the coast.
Political ScienceIn an impressive display of journalistic ambidexterity, today's carbon-based WaPo has an article both above ("Arlington Takes On") and below ("Global Warming") the fold. It describes the actions of the Arlington County Board in reducing CO2 emissions. We'll leave it to the tin-foil-hat types to decode the agenda, but the article is written by the Arlington/Alexandria reporter, while the erstwhile environment reporter returns to her former political beat to take the page A1 pole position with an article analyzing the House Democrats' legislative plans in the new Congress.