Inauguration Day — Weather Watch

Jan 13, 2009 10:41am

The wind chill was 40 degrees below zero in North Dakota last night.  As someone here said, "time to move."  All that arctic air is heading east.  That means Washington, DC.  It is of course a bit early to predict the temperatures when Barack Obama is sworn in.  But this has been a really chilly winter thus far.  The Weather Service says that the average temperature in the nation’s capital on Inauguration Day hovers around 37 degrees.  The AFP reports that there is a 5 percent chance of snow on the big day this year and a 12 percent chance of rain.  They are already staging snow plows just in case.  Here is Accuweather’s special inauguration weather prediction page. The weather has played a rich role on this historic day.  William Harrison refused to wear a coat during his swearing in despite frigid temps and subsequently died of pneumonia a month later.  The warmest day was for Ronald Reagan in 1981 when the thermometer shot up to 55 degrees.  The coldest was Reagan’s too.  In 1985 the temperature hovered around zero.  They moved the proceedings inside the Capitol Rotunda.  Kennedy in ’61 got snarled up in 8 inches of snow which fell on the eve of his historic day.  It rained on Roosevelt’s parade in ’37. Which brings us back to Obama’s big day and the worry over the cold.  Maybe it is a good thing more than 2 million people are expected to pack the capital.  A little body heat can go a long way.   

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