Bitter cold temps rare for March

WASHINGTON – We are getting a break from the snow today across the D.C. area but not a break from the bitter cold temperatures.

Fortunately, Tuesday will be the coldest day as temperatures are forecast to gradually go up this week. We will actually be in the 50s for the weekend!

Unfortunately, the cold air is not quite finished with us as temperatures will move back down below normal next week.


There is a 40 to 60 percent chance across the region that we will see below-normal temperatures (normal being in the lower 50s) from March 9 through March 13.

We woke up Tuesday morning not only to snow still on the ground from Monday’s storm but single- digit to below-zero temperatures in some spots!


Morning lows Tuesday morning.

And of course, we shattered some records across the region.

Tuesday morning’s low of 14 degrees is the lowest March temperature recorded at Reagan National Airport since 1945, according to the National Weather Service.


Minimum temperature records were set at Baltimore and Dulles on Tuesday morning. The -1 degree at Dulles recorded Tuesday morning breaks the daily record of 6 degrees set in 1980. This also ties the March monthly minimum temperature record of -1 degree set on March 15, 1993, according to the National Weather Service.

At Baltimore Washington Airport, a temperature of 4 degrees was measured this morning. This breaks the daily record of 5 degrees set in 1873 – a 140 year old record!

Temperatures in the region are rarely this cold so close to spring. Baltimore temperatures have not dropped below 5 degrees after Feb. 24 since 1889, according to weather service records.

All the snow on the ground from Monday’s storm contributed to the bitter cold temperatures Tuesday. We measured anywhere from 3 inches to 9 inches across the listening area, with some minor ice accumulation under the snow.


Snow totals from across the listening area from Monday, March 3.


More snow totals from across the listening area from Monday, March 3.

While it seems like we have seen a lot of snow this year, it is nowhere near the top five recorded snows for the season in D.C. Actually, we need another 18.6 inches of snow if we want to crack the top five snowiest winters as recorded at Reagan. Dulles would need another 13.2 inches to make its top five snowiest seasons and Baltimore would need another 13.7 inches of accumulated snow.


Accumulated snow this season (2013-2014) at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. compared to the last four seasons.

However, D.C. was due for snow. This year has indeed been the most snow that we have had in four winters – since the season of the blizzards in 2009-2010 and that season happened to be the No. 1 snowiest winter we have on record at all three area airports.

While there is not another big snow storm on the horizon, we will have a slight chance of seeing some light snow showers to light rain showers floating through the region with a coastal low that is expected to track up or just off the east coast. At the same time, a few pieces of energy will be diving out of the northwest that could kick the coastal low farther out to sea, leaving us with no precipitation on Thursday evening into early Friday morning.

It looks like anything we see at this time will be light and only about a 30 percent shot now. Keep your fingers crossed that we can just get to this weekend warm-up with no problems.

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