|Image by Tony Webster via Creative Commons|
by Peggy Robin
The “dress for the weather” advice posted on the listserv for next weekend’s marchers (see https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/cleveland-park/conversations/messages/121138) was just a little bit maddening. The recommendation was this: “Wear layered clothing instead of one heavy coat if possible so you can shed a layer if it turns warm.” The problem is you never know what you’re going to get in January in this town. If it’s like the Obama’s first inaugural – a good 20 degrees below January’s average of 40 degrees F -- we’ll all need to be bundled up like polar explorers; if it’s balmy like his second inaugural, at 55 degrees (that’s about 15 degrees above the norm), well, that’s a different story.
The Capital Weather Gang has an posted an article on the history of the coldest and warmest inaugurals since accurate records were kept (see http://wapo.st/2jmvNgk). Of course, the Women’s March is not actually on Inauguration Day but is happening a day later, and even a one-day difference can be a big one, when it comes to the weather. Just look at what happened last week in DC: Sunday, January 8 started out at 15 degrees F but by Thursday the 12th, it hit a high of 72. A friend sent me the temperature reading from his back deck where it hit 77!
You can see the ups and downs of the whole crazy month so far at: http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/washington-dc/20006/january-weather/327659 .
As of now, the weather pundits are predicting an unseasonably warm day with a high of 52, close but not quite touching the record for the warmest inauguration on record -- a tie* between Woodrow Wilson ‘13 and Ronald Reagan ’81. But those same pundits will also freely admit that seven days out, they can’t really say what’s coming much confidence. So tell your out-of-town guests to keep checking those weather sites, right up until the moment it’s time to pack their bags. Capital Weather Gang’s got a decent track record (mainly because they tend to hedge their bets!) – so you can recommend this link for the latest in DC Weather forecasts: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/
My personal feeling about next weekend is that it would be a great time for one of our wilder weather swings: So let the cold winds blow and bring in an icy, pelting rain on Friday the 20th , and then let the morning of the 21st dawn calm and fair and at least twenty degrees warmer!
* Not really a fair tie, since at the time of Wilson’s election, Presidential inaugurations were held in March.
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays….and sometimes (like today) on Sundays.