Ver­dict is in: Satur­day’s weather was ‘amaz­ing’

The Washington Post Sunday - - COMMUTER - BY MARTIN WEIL martin.weil@wash­post.com

It is of­ten claimed that only ex­tremes of weather make news, but Satur­day was nei­ther stormy nor steamy, not in­tensely rainy or fiercely windy, and yet it seemed wor­thy of at­ten­tion.

Satur­day staked its claim on the hearts and minds of Wash­ing­ton by fit­ting many peo­ple’s im­age of a sur­pass­ingly pleas­ant sum­mer day.

It was not too warm and not too cool. Clouds drifted by, but they seemed only to set off the clear blue of the sky. Wash­ing­ton’s max­i­mum tem­per­a­ture, as mea­sured at Rea­gan National Air­port, was 81 de­grees.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, it was an hon­est 81 de­grees. It was a read­ing that told us how we ac­tu­ally felt.

That is be­cause hu­mid­ity was low. The amount of mois­ture in the air, re­spon­si­ble for the sever­est tor­ments of a typ­i­cal sum­mer day in Wash­ing­ton, re­mained in check.

It meant that an ac­cu­rate re­port on how it felt in Wash­ing­ton could be ob­tained from the ther­mome­ter alone. No need to com­pute any heat in­dex.

At 3:52 on Satur­day af­ter­noon, with the mer­cury at 81 de­grees, ac­cord­ing to the National Weather Ser­vice, the heat in­dex was also 81 de­grees.

The 81-de­gree read­ing was seven below nor­mal. It was ac­com­pa­nied by a breeze many found re­fresh­ing. The com­bi­na­tion proved widely wel­come.

The Wash­ing­ton Post’s Cap­i­tal Weather Gang re­ceived nu­mer­ous com­ments about the day. A plu­ral­ity of com­ments ap­peared to con­tain the same assess­ment of Satur­day’s weather.

The day was judged to be “amaz­ing.”

It was per­haps all the more wel­come in that it fol­lowed five suc­ces­sive days of 90 de­grees or more. Some of those days turned stormy, and some of the storms be­came vi­o­lent. Noth­ing of the sort oc­curred Satur­day.

As much praise as Satur­day won, it should be noted that it was not the coolest day since the start of July. But it was the sec­ond coolest. On July 29, it was 77. That was the coolest in a while. And on July 28, it was 81 de­grees, the same as Satur­day.

Much of sum­mer re­mains ahead. But much is past, and on Satur­day, the 90 long­est days of the year came to an end, and some thought they might even have glimpsed a hint of au­tumn.

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