120-year-old record low broken in D.C, Not seen since the 1800'sWe talk about record highs a lot in Washington, but the recently unfathomable was accomplished this morning. We broke a record low. A temperature of 5 degrees was enough to smash a 120-year-old record for the date — a moment worthy of meteorological reflection. When the city — often the warmest location in the region — is breaking record lows, you know it’s a cold one. Most of the area saw one of the most truly frigid nights in recent memory last night, made more amazing because of how late in the season it happened.


Key facts

  • Two out of three of our climate sites — National and Baltimore-Washington airports — broke record lows this morning. This comes after record low maximums at Dulles and BWI on Thursday, and other records earlier in the week.
  • Yesterday’s 21 degree maximum tied for the coldest high recorded at National Airport (since the 1940s) so late in the season.
  • In some ways, this late-season cold is nearly unprecedented. Four days with highs 22 or less in mid-February and beyond would break a record dating to the 1800s.The big one — partly because it’s so rare — is the D.C. (as measured at National Airport) record low of 5 degrees this morning. It bests the 8 degrees that was put on the books way back in 1896 on this date. It’s the first record low broken in the city since May 2002 (one was tied in April 2007), and the first winter record low since January 1994. MORE