WASHINGTON – If you think last year’s temperatures in Washington were reminiscent of a southern climate, you are correct.
The average temperature for the D.C. area in 2012 was 61.5 degrees, 3.3 degrees above the 30-year average. This temperature is on par with annual averages in Little Rock, Ark., San Jose, Calif. and Atlanta.
Beginning with a nearly snowless winter of 2011-2012, Washington experienced 12 consecutive months of above-average temperatures through October 2012. March’s average temperature of 56.8 degrees was a staggering 10-degree departure from the monthly norm. It was the warmest March on record.
November was the only month that saw slightly below normal temperatures in Washington, but the region returned to warmer temperatures in December.
According to the National Weather Service, the first half of 2012 was warmer than the latter half. Spring was the warmest season, 5.7 degrees above average.
The averages for Washington reflect daily measurements taken at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The average annual temperature of 57.9 degrees at Dulles International Airport also is the warmest ever seen since record-keeping began in 1962.
Baltimore experienced its third warmest year with an average temperature of 58.6 degrees. The years 1931 and 1949 were warmer by less than one degree.
The warmer-than-average weather was not unique to Washington. More than 33,600 daily high temperature records were set last year at climate stations throughout the U.S.