Where April 2023 ranks among warmest, driest for DC

D.C.-area residents suffering from severe allergies will finally get a break from the prolonged dry, warm weather, but the damage has already been done this month. Not to be outdone, the lack of rain will also go down in the record books.

The pollen count has been relentlessly high thanks to the dry, hot weather this April.

The numbers prove it; this month has been the warmest April on record with an average temperature of 63.7 degrees. The second warmest was just six years ago in 2017 with an average temperature of 63 degrees.

Top five warmest Aprils on record in Washington (Courtesy NOAA).

Besides the heat, moderate drought has spread across the D.C. region this month. Prior to Saturday’s rain, this month has been the tenth driest April on record with 0.83 inch of rain.

April averages 3.21 inches of rain.

D.C. isn’t alone in the drought. It stretches up Interstate 95 into southern New England. This recent dry stretch has also triggered brush fires.

More than 10,000 acres of real estate in the Northeast have been charred by brush fires from April 7 to 13. This includes the soldiers’ fire in northern Maryland that has burned 321 acres.

The May wildfire outlook for the U.S. (Courtesy the National Interagency Fire Center).

The dry weather has taken its toll on the region this year. D.C. is seeing the third driest start to the calendar year since 1941 with 6.16 inches of rain. Only 1977 and 2012 had less precipitation than this year so far.

Saturday afternoon’s front marked a pattern change that will keep temperatures near to below-average for the remainder of the month. The next threat of rain is at the end of the month with a southern storm.

Fortunately, the Mid-Atlantic has a reduced risk for brush fires in May, per the latest report from the National Interagency Fire Center.

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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