Inauguration Day is held on Jan. 20, thanks to the 20th amendment. However, when Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday, the ceremony is typically held on the following day. Courtesy: Dan Moore
President Obama's first Inauguration in 2009 was very cold with a temperature of 28 degrees. Breezy with northwest winds around 15 mph, gusting 20-25 mph. Making it feel frigid with wind-chill values in the mid teens. The silver lining of the day was the dry weather with filtered sunshine.
So the question begs: What is Normal Weather for January Inauguration?
The normal high temperature for the day is 43 degrees. The normal low temperature for the day is 28 degrees. Normal weather for Noon is a temperature of 37 degrees, partly cloudy skies, 10 mph wind and a wind chill of 31 degrees. There is chance for at least 0.01 inches of measurable precipitation on that day which is about a 1 in 3 chance and a 1 in 6 chance of precipitation during the ceremony. There is a slight chance for 0.1 inches of measurable snow which is a 1 and 10 chance on that day and a 1 in 20 chance of snow during the ceremony and there is about a 1 in 6 chance that there will be at least 1" of snow already on the ground from a previous snowfall.
Speaking of cold and snow the coldest Inaugurations have been:
1985 which is the coldest January date and overall - Ronald Reagan's second swearing-in ceremony on January 21 had to be held indoors and the parade was canceled. The outside temperature at noon was only 7°F. The morning low was 4° below zero and the daytime high was only 17°. Wind chill temperatures during the afternoon were in the -10 to -20°F range.
1872 was the coldest March date- Ulysses S. Grant's second swearing-in ceremony. The morning low temperature of 4°F was a record for the month of March. The day remains the coldest March day on record. During the day, bitterly cold winds gusted up to 40 mph. By noon, the temperature had risen to 16°F. Wind chill temperatures were -15° to -30°F. Cadets and midshipmen had been standing on the mall for more than an hour and a half without overcoats. Several of them collapsed. When the president delivered his inaugural address, the wind made his words inaudible to even those on the platform with him. The inaugural ball was held in a temporary building without heat. It had to be halted at midnight so people, who had been dancing in their overcoats and heavy wraps, could go home and get warm.
The forecast for President Obama's second Inauguration will be partly sunny with a chance of snow showers after 1pm. The high temperature will be near 37 which is normal. If you are saying this is too cold then just think about the inauguration of 1872 (above) and that, my friends, is why I always say the weather is relative!
If you really want to warm up think about the warmest January 20th. It was in 1981 and it was 55 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. Nice, huh?
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