Mother Nature can ‘fool’ DC region with swings in April 1 weather

Just as we flip the calendar to April early this weekend, we are reminded just how much Mother Nature can “fool” D.C. residents with the weather.

Transition seasons such as fall and spring provide D.C. with an array of weather with temperatures bouncing around, rain, thunderstorms and even snowflakes in the mix. April 1 presents its own challenges for meteorologists.

While the past six years have been consistent with highs in the 50s and 60s, you don’t have to look too far back to see highs in the upper 40s in 2004. It can get as hot as 88 degrees like it did in 1978 and as frigid as 15 degrees in 1923.

However, a frosty morning in D.C. is more of the exception than the rule. The last time April Fools’ Day dropped below freezing was 1987.

April Fools’ Day weather statistics and latest spring freeze data for Washington, D.C. (Courtesy of NOAA)

As a matter of fact, Monday is the average day in which D.C. no longer drops below freezing and the growing season gets underway. The earliest last hard freeze was Feb. 27, 2010, and the latest in the spring season for the hard freeze was Apr. 21, 1956.

March 19 was the last day in which D.C. dropped below freezing, and the upcoming pattern doesn’t favor a hard freeze through the remainder of March into April. This doesn’t mean the suburbs won’t drop below freezing though.

Snow can accumulate on April Fools’ Day, but it has been rare the past few decades. You have to dig back into the record books to Apr. 1, 1954 to see just trace snow amounts. The greatest D.C. snowfall on April Fools’ Day was 1924 with 5.5 inches.

Mother Nature has tricks up her sleeves this year on April 1. A dynamic front has good potential to bring a few showers and breezy to gusty winds, but there’s no threat for snow or a deep freeze.

Be sure to stay tuned to WTOP for the latest on the forecast this week with traffic and weather on the 8’s!

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Chad Merrill

Chad Merrill is a meteorologist and digital weather content producer for WTOP. Prior to joining WTOP, Chad was a meteorologist in the private industry and television. He loves to share his passion with listeners and readers and is eager to hear from anyone who has any weather questions!

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