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Washington, DC’s surprising February temperatures

With only one day left, February 2023 is all but certain to finish as one of DC’s warmest – possibly as high as third-warmest on record
Credit: Christopher Laudicina
A warm February day in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON — February has picked up where last month left off with almost unprecedented warmth in the nation’s capital. 

With only one day left, February is all but certain to finish as one of D.C.’s warmest – possibly as high as third-warmest on record. 

Despite colder than average weather on three of the first four days of February, there has been only one colder than average day since then.

Tuesday's high temperatures in the nation’s capital reached the 60s for the 9th time this month. That’s D.C.’s highest such total since 2017 when high temperatures reached at least 60 degrees on 11 occasions. 

That’s significant because February 2017 is D.C.’s warmest on record. By comparison, D.C. has averaged only three February days in the 60s and one day in the 70s over the last 30 years, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Two record highs were set this month at Dulles Airport. High temperatures there reached 71 degrees and 63 degrees, respectively, on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10. D.C.’s highest temperature so far this month, as measured at National Airport, was 69 degrees on Feb. 15.

Record-challenging warmth is expected on Thursday when high temperatures soar to near 80 degrees. Such February warmth is exceptionally rare in the nation’s capital and has only occurred three times dating back to the 1870s, most recently on Feb. 21, 2018 (82 degrees). 

Very little cold air has reached the Mid-Atlantic Region this month. That’s largely due to an unfavorable position of the jet stream, which has been the dominant weather story of the 2022-2023 winter season.

Following D.C.’s third-warmest January, the average monthly temperature (the combination of daily high and low temperatures) has remained considerably higher than average this month. With a cool down to only near average temperatures forecast for this weekend, February will, like January, finish as one of the warmest on record in Washington, D.C.

That will help make this winter season one of D.C.’s warmest, despite December 2022 finishing 1.6 degrees colder than average.

DC’s Warmest February’s (Source: NOAA)

Credit: tt

DC’s Warmest Winter’s (December, January, February; Source: NOAA)

Credit: WUSA Weather

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