How warm is it really?

It’s 67°F at National Airport as I write this. We had temperatures in the 70s this past weekend; Saturday topped out at 68° and Sunday hit 71°. So yes, it’s warm. But in the broader context, this warmth is actually more common than you might expect. The data presented below are from the National Centers for Environmental Information, which are part of NOAA. These are maximum daily temperatures from February 15–25 at National Airport (located in Arlington, VA) from 1981 through 2015.

Histogram of Maximum Temperatures at DCA

The average high temperature for that timeframe is 49.2° with a standard deviation of 10.7°. Thirty-three days between Feb. 15–25, 1981–2015 have had high temps above 65° (roughly 8.6%). About half of those days were during active La Niña events.

So how common are these warm temperatures? Well, they’ve happened about 8.6% of the time, which seems rare. However, they occurred in 19 of the 35 years I looked at, which is just over half the time. That’s quite common.

Originally published at Weather and Vines.

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