Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why I Hate Unseasonably Warm Days So Much

Sometimes, when it's unseasonably warm out and I want to cry, people act like I'm being a baby about it. "What's a couple of warm days in the middle of winter?" they ask. "Some of us love warm weather. Why can't we be happy, too?"

Well, first of all, cold weather is pretty fleeting in Virginia now. It seems like the days being cold on Halloween are behind us and we get maybe one good snow a year. When I was in grade school, we had so many snow days that one year they had to make our school day longer, and we never got a week off for Spring break like they do now because we always used them as snow makeup days.

And yes, warm weather lovers should be happy, too. That's why we live in a place that (should) get all four seasons. What a wonderful thing! But how often in the middle of July is a cold weather lover like myself treated with a 30 degree day? Yeah, never.

But we want to see numbers, don't we? The numbers don't lie.

Please see the following graphic from The Weather Channel:

Monthly Weather For Washington, DC.

Let's start with January. The mean temperature is 36 degrees Fahrenheit with an average low of 29 and an average high of 43. But the record high? 79 degrees (*shudder*) which is 43 degrees above the mean. Remember this number.

Now, what about July, a miserable month, in my opinion. A mean of 80 and an average high and low of 89 and 71, respectively. The record low was 52 degrees way back in 1933, which is just 28 degrees below the mean temperature. And it probably happened in the middle of the night.

How about November, one of my favorite months because of the falling leaves and transition to all things festive. The mean is 50, but the all time high has been 86! Gross! 36 degrees higher than what it typically is this time of year. Now, to be fair, in 1911 it was 39 degrees colder than the average, so that must have been a nice treat. Too bad it was 69 years before I was even born!

Speaking of my birthday month: February! I was born on the coldest day of the year (explains a lot, right?), yet even with a mean of 39, which isn't even that cold, the warmest it's been was 84 in 1930. If it's ever 84 on my birthday, I am rescheduling it. Or hopping on a plane the North Pole (Hi, Santa!). 

Today in DC it hit 72 degrees! On the first day of winter! Four days before Christmas! Ugh. It was awful. The mean temperature this time of year is 40 so it was 32 degrees higher than what we're used to! Sure, the record low was a frigid -13, but that happened over 100 years ago so I'm not sure it's in our cards now.

And check out the recorded temperatures for December 2012. Every single day was above the mean temperature of 40. It only went below freezing twice. Will we ever have a white Christmas again!? Should I stop asking for sweaters from Santa?

But July of this year? It hit or went above the mean temperature every single day. Enjoy your warm weather! Hope you have a pool!

From May to October, the warmest months we have, we haven't even hit a record low in 27 years, which was 49 degrees in August of 1986.

But for the warmest days? It was 104 in June 2012 and 79 in December 1998. What about 95 in April 2002?

So my point is that we rarely get unseasonably cold days in spring, summer, and early fall, and when we do, they're not by the same intensity as when it is freakishly warm in late fall and winter.

The numbers don't lie. 


Serena McClain said...

Stats rock. Way to bring it!

Unknown said...

Agreed. I like having my seasons. Not a fan of the cold, but I recognize that it's necessary... Especially if we want any hope of a bug free summer.