WASHINGTON — After a short stretch of near-normal cold temperatures this week, D.C. is heading back to spring fever again this weekend.
Unseasonable warmth arrives in the DMV for Saturday and Sunday. Warm, southerly winds ahead of our next big low pressure system will help to "spring" high temperatures 20° to 25° above average!
Highs both Saturday and Sunday will be in the mid and upper 60s, possibly even flirting with 70°, which is more typical for Mid-April in the DMV.
Although the warm weather sounds lovely, if we continue to see a lack of arctic air outbreaks, this could mean some implications for the DMV's fauna and bugs. We'll get to that later in this blog. But first, let's run through the numbers...
How Common Are 60s in January
Although the 60s are well above our average January highs between 43° and 44°, it's not that uncommon for us to see them make an appearance each January. Looking back at the years 2000 through 2019, we've hit at least 60° an average of 3 days each January. This average drops to 2 days for the month of January for high temperatures at or above 65°. We only hit 70° in the month of January about once every other year.
In 2019, D.C. had 3 days at or above 60° in the month of January. In 2018, D.C. hit at least 60° a whopping 8 times that month!
This Weekend vs. The Records
Now that you know that we do hit the 60s on average a few times each January, you probably won't be surprised when you hear that this weekend's spring-like warmth won't hit the record books.
The graphic below shows D.C.'s forecast highs and the daily records for those days.
Below are the records for Dulles and BWI airports:
Dulles - Saturday 71°(1975), Sunday 70°(2018)
BWI/Baltimore - Saturday 73°(1975), Sunday 70°(2017)
We will flirt with the above Sunday records. In fact, some of our weather models do believe that some places could reach above 70° on Sunday!
Implications of the Warmth: Flora and Fauna
Winter serves a purpose each year. It helps to kill off the stink bugs and some other pests, and it allows bulbs to rest and go dormant.
Don't be surprised with this kind of warmth this weekend to see some early spring flowers beginning to pop out of the ground, like crocus or daffodils.