Presidential Inauguration 2013: Cold Front Expected
Bundle up, folks. Chilly weather expected for Obama's second inauguration.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2013 -- Bundle up, folks.
It has been a record-hot past year worldwide and in the nation's capital, but it might be a cold one come Inauguration Day if a windy front blows in this weekend.
Meteorologists predict that the cold front could come in from the north Sunday, sending temperatures down below 40 and possibly into subfreezing just in time for President Obama's inauguration ceremony Monday, according to the National Weather Service Forecast Office.
The city's normal temperatures for Jan. 21 are a high of 40 degrees and a low of 28 degrees.
"The temperature will be a couple degrees below normal," the office said. "There is a front coming in Sunday with a little disturbance coming through and increasing cloud activity."
Obama's first inauguration ceremony was also held on a chilly day, when temperatures dropped into the upper 20s, according to the NWS.
The coldest inauguration day recorded in history was 1984, the second presidential inauguration of former President Ronald Reagan. That year the ceremony was held inside because temperatures were 10 to 20 degrees below zero during the afternoon. The inaugural parade was also cancelled that year.
Coincidentally, the warmest inauguration day was also Reagan's; his first ceremony was held in 55-degree weather under cloudy skies.
In the past, record low temperatures have led to tragic consequences, including the death of former President William Henry Harrison, who died just a month after his address in 1841 due to pneumonia he had developed while traveling to and from the ceremony in the cold weather.
Drastic changes in global weather patterns -- and the weather on inauguration day -- could be an excuse for critics of the Obama administration to bring up the lack of attention given to climate change during his first term.
While Obama made the promise to make America the "global leader in addressing climate change," during his 2008 campaign, these same words were nowhere to be found for the last two years of his first term and during campaign 2012.
Obama has received flak from environmental advocates, including former Vice President Al Gore, who criticized the president last December for not making global warming a priority.
"I deeply respect our president and I am grateful for the steps that he has taken, but we cannot have four more years of mentioning this occasionally and saying it's too bad that the Congress can't act," Gore told the New York League of Conservation Voters in December.
The statement came a month after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg chose to endorse Obama over presidential candidate Mitt Romney on the very issue of climate change.
"Our climate is changing," Bloomberg wrote in an op-ed on his personal website. "And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week's devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."
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