“Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
Tomorrow be today.”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The current rain season continues on, one wonderful storm after another. Thus far we have surpassed last year’s total of 16.26 inches as a measurement of 18.26 has been recorded at my location – elevation 1,717 ft. – in La Crescenta. With five months remaining, we’re likely to meet the 24-inch rainfall average. Many will agree, subject-wise, that a shift to the weather would be refreshing. For a moment, let’s take the politics out of the inauguration and replace it with weather. Were conditions on Inauguration Day unusually dreary and cold? Those standing for hours, shivering in their overcoats, may color their response.
NWS records indicate average mid-winter weather in Washington, D.C. isn’t considered severe with a daytime temperature at 43 degrees and nighttime at 28 degrees. A one in 10 chance of measurable snow and a one in three chance of precipitation exists.
Rain during this year’s inauguration was moderate and the temperature reached 48 degrees – the fourth warmest inauguration on record. By local standards, it was a mild winter day in spite of the rain. Meanwhile, in “our neck of the woods,” heavy rain fell and snow accumulated on the surrounding mountains. Temperatures hovered in the upper 40s.
In comparison and relatively speaking, our weather presented the more inclement conditions. You can call the weather “cold” but “dreary” … never.
History tells of inaugural weather and unfortunate outcomes. In 1841, President Harrison, without an overcoat or hat, road horseback to and from Washington during a storm. Within a month, he succumbed to pneumonia. In 1909 President Taft’s ceremony moved indoors as a blizzard hit. Trains stalled, streets clogged and trees fell throughout the city. In 1937, after riding through driving rain from the inauguration in his open Lincoln convertible (nicknamed “sunshine special”) President Roosevelt then stood (with leg braces) and viewed the two-hour parade as the deluge continued. The rainfall total that day stands as the wettest inauguration in history.
Under copious sunshine and mild breezes, a gradual warming will take us into next week. Nights in the upper 40s and days in the low 70s are expected. Come Wednesday … “Here comes the rain, again.” How much and how long – to be determined. This much I know – our umbrellas have collected no dust!
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.