It’s snow joke. A week­end warm-up hints at an early ar­rival of spring.

The Washington Post Sunday - - LOCAL OPINIONS - THE RE­GION BY MARTIN WEIL martin.weil@wash­post.com

The first seven weeks of 2017 ended on Satur­day, a day that seemed to sym­bol­ize a Wash­ing­ton win­ter that has been no­tice­ably long on warmth and short on snow.

So many days this win­ter have re­sem­bled Satur­day, with its 68de­gree high at Rea­gan Na­tional Air­port, that peo­ple seemed al­most blasé about it. It was the fourth day this month with a high tem­per­a­ture above 60.

On the av­er­age, the 49 days of this year have been about 5.9 de­grees warmer than nor­mal.

With such tem­per­a­tures, even res­i­dents pre­oc­cu­pied with the work of a busy world cap­i­tal have no­ticed how fre­quently spring weather has been a win­ter vis­i­tor.

This long week­end is ex­pected to see at least a two-day visit. “Very warm tem­per­a­tures grip the re­gion,” fore­cast­ers at the lo­cal of­fice of the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice said Satur­day. They “will per­sist through Sun­day,” the me­te­o­rol­o­gists added in a pub­lished dis­cus­sion of their fore­cast. In­deed, they said, “some read­ings are go­ing to be close to records.”

Al­though spring has showed up of­ten here this win­ter, it is not a per­ma­nent res­i­dent. Win­ter has not been dis­lodged.

The Feb. 8 high read­ing was 74, ex­ceed­ing the old record for the date by six de­grees.

But two days later, the high tem­per­a­ture at the air­port was 39, more ap­pro­pri­ate for win­ter, and the low of 23 was nine de­grees be­low freez­ing. It showed that Fe­bru­ary’s spring fling re­mains a tran­sient af­fair.

Mean­while, it did not snow on Satur­day. Only traces have fallen this month, and only 1.4 inches were mea­sured last month. It is hard to con­struct snow­balls, snow per­sons or an authen­tic win­ter out of that.

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