Watts Up With That?

Guest post by Indur M. Goklany

On June 29th, the temperature at Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, DC, hit 104 °F and it was duly noted by all and sundry that this was the hottest June day EVAH. Typical was the Washington Post story:

D.C. shatters all-time June record high, sizzles to 104

Mark Richards, weather observer at Reagan National Airport, says the temperature at 2:48 p.m. hit 104, blowing by the old June record of 102 set on June 9 in both 1874 and 2011. We are now experiencing D.C.’s hottest June temperatures in 142 years.

Indeed, 104 °F was the highest temperature ever measured in June in the vicinity of Reagan National Airport. But was it the warmest day in Washington, DC, ever?

This is what Reagan National Airport looks like in the present.


Figure 1: Photograph from 2011. At left foreground is the…

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