Inauguration weather

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:11 PM GMT on January 19, 2009

Share this Blog
1
+

Barack Obama won't have the weather as the first concern of his presidency, unlike some of his predecessors. The weather for Tuesday's swearing in ceremony promises to be precipitation-free, with a mix of sun and clouds. With temperatures in the low 30s and a moderate north wind of 10-15 mph, he'll have to bundle up, though. As the afternoon progresses, clouds will dominate for the parade, but the weather at the inauguration promises to be a non-story, unlike some previous occasions:

Most Dramatic and Tragic - 1841:
President William Henry Harrison was sworn into office on a cloudy, windy day, with temperatures in the mid to upper 40s. His speech lasted one hour and 40 minutes, and he rode a horse to and from the Capitol, without wearing a hat or overcoat. Pneumonia developed from a lingering cold he caught on that day and he died just one month later.

Almost as bad - 1853:
President Franklin Pierce was sworn into office during a snowstorm, with temperatures near freezing. Shortly after Pierce took his oath of office, as he began his inaugural address, heavier snow began falling, dispersing much of the crowd and ruining plans for the parade. Abigail Fillmore, First Lady to the outgoing President Millard Fillmore, caught a cold as she sat on the cold, wet, exposed platform during the swearing-in ceremony. The cold developed into pneumonia and she died at the end of the month.

Worst Weather Day - 1909:
President William H. Taft's ceremony was forced indoors due to a storm that dropped 10 inches of snow over the Capital city. The snow and winds began the day before, toppling trees and telephone poles. Trains were stalled, and city streets clogged, bringing all activity to a standstill. Sanitation workers shoveled sand and snow through the night. It took 6,000 men and 500 wagons to clear 58,000 tons of snow and slush from the parade route. Despite the freezing temperatures, howling wind, snow, and sleet, a large crowd gathered in front of the Capitol to view the inauguration, but the weather forced the ceremony indoors. Just after the swearing-in, the snow tapered off.


Figure 1. Inauguration day, 1909. Workers shovel away heavy snow from in front of President Taft's reviewing stand (left). President Taft and wife returning to the White House after the ceremony (right).

The material for this post was taken from an excellent Presidential Inaugural Weather web page put together by the National Weather Service forecast office in Washington D.C. The page has loads more information, for those interested.

Good luck, Mr. Obama!

I'll have a new post on Wednesday.
Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 335 - 285

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10Blog Index

Quoting severstorm:
futuremet, so busy cause theres a chance of snow showers in tampa. blog was really movin a couple of hours ago.


I missed out a lot then...

The blog is usually quiet during this time of year
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
we will be getting 300 posts an hr then if not more pat
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
because of southern snow and politics, futuremet.


Oh yes of course..inauguration is tomorrow.

I almost forgot * I-idiot*
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
futuremet, so busy cause theres a chance of snow showers in tampa. blog was really movin a couple of hours ago.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You think the Blog is Busy now?..

..just wait till the Cape Verde season rolls around..


Faster,..faster..



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting vortfix:
There is no pin-hole eye...anywhere!



I said emerging
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
this is strange

Why is the blog busy today? lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
StSimons, so how much rain did ya get up there?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
First pin hole of 2009 how come we never hear of rapid intensification in other oceans 55-135 in 24 hours is a very impressive feat
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
323. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Summary
TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SIX-F
9:00 AM FST January 20 2009
====================================

At 21:00 PM UTC, Tropical Disturbance Six-F (1008 hPa) located at 13.0S 157.0W is reported as slow moving. Position GOOD based on infrared/visible imagery with animation, peripheral observations, and latest QUIKSCAT
Pass. Sea surface temperatures is around 29C.

Disturbance SIX lies along a trough, under a 250 HPA diffluence region in a low sheared environment. Low level circulation center obscured and convection has increased in the last 24 hours with a marked improvement in observations. Convection is confirmed to the north and east of Tropical Disturbance SIX.

Global models [UK/US] has picked up the system and moves it southwest then souht with little intensification.

POTENTIAL FOR TD SIX TO DEVELOP IN THE NEXT 24 TO 36 HOURS IS LOW TO MODERATE.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46152
hes going to be given a trillion more to fix the trillion those before him wasted
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting all4hurricanes:

Fanele looks like a mini cat 4


Indeed, the pinhole eye seems to be emerging from the vort max
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
give me a trillion dollars and i could change the world too


But would you ruin it? Probably not. Hopefully not. Got to give it to Bush for trying at least.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting vortfix:
I only thought about it for 30 seconds man.

That is all!



...no kidding...

oh well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
instead of being paid to local workers, small businesses, and so on.

Ok...it is so unlike me to even dabble in this stuff. It belongs in a politics blog...Never the less...

In all honesty it is being paid to the local workers, small businesses, and so on as you say. How full do you think the hotels, coffee houses, bars, restaurants, etc will be?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
give me a trillion dollars and i could change the world too
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Fanele looks like a mini cat 4
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
its ok vort remember its the trillion dollar man


Uh...wasnt it Bush and the GOP who ran our deficit into the trillions and left the country with a crashing economy? Obama isnt even in office and you're blaming him for everything Bush did wrong.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
no vort, but you quoted it thoughtlessly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
its ok vort remember its the trillion dollar man
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffB:
"not off topic"? Now I'll be spending the rest of the night wondering how I accidentally clicked on the "bitter political whining" blog link.

It's a darn shame all that money is being bundled up and tossed into the Potomac, instead of being paid to local workers, small businesses, and so on.


Think of all the millions of people (literally) who are getting that money! Cops, restaurant owners, shop owners, hotels, caterers...think of the tax revenues!!! Seems like a huge boon to local workers and small business owners.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
jeffB great answer!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
304. jeffB
"not off topic"? Now I'll be spending the rest of the night wondering how I accidentally clicked on the "bitter political whining" blog link.

It's a darn shame all that money is being bundled up and tossed into the Potomac, instead of being paid to local workers, small businesses, and so on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting vortfix:
Don't even start...this is not off-topic:


What Recession? The $170 Million Inauguration



The country is in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which isn't stopping rich donors and the government from spending $170 million, or more, on the inauguration of Barack Obama .

The actual swearing-in ceremony will cost $1.24 million, according to Carole Florman, spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

It's the security, parties and countless Porta-a-Potty rentals that really run up the bill.

The federal government estimates that it will spend roughly $49 million on the inaugural weekend. Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland have requested another $75 million from the federal government to help pay for their share of police, fire and medical services.

And then there is the party bill.

"We have a budget of roughly $45 million, maybe a little bit more," said Linda Douglass, spokeswoman for the inaugural committee.

That's more than the $42.3 million in private funds spent by President Bush's committee in 2005 or the $33 million spent for Bill Clinton's first inaugural in 1993.

Sign Up for Our RSS Feed and Get the Latest Business Headlines From ABC News

Douglass said that this will be the "most open and accessible inauguration in history," with members of the general public able to participate on a greater scale than ever before.

"The money is going toward providing events which we hope are going to connect people, make them feel like we are all in this together and reinforce the notion that when we pull together, we're stronger," Douglass said. "And we need to pull together to face the challenges that are before us today."

Among the expenses: a Bruce Springsteen concert, the parade, large-screen TV rentals for all-free viewing on the national Mall, $700,000 to the Smithsonian Institution to stay open and, of course, the balls, including three that are being pitched as free or low cost for the public.

But there are plenty of rich donors willing to pick up the tab.

"They are not the $20 and $50 donors who helped propel Obama through Election Day," said Massie Ritsch, communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics. "These are people giving mostly $50,000 apiece. They tend to be corporate executives, celebrities, the elite of the elite."

The rest of article...



What a BS article. When it mentions Obama's number figure it includes all the security and the costs to the surrounding towns. When it mentions Bush's inagural costs it leaves OUT all the security and costs to surrounding towns. Who wrote such BAD journalism and why are you dumb enuff to quote it? Sheeesh. Get a brain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
vortfix, we were just talkin about this to day. i guess if ya got it spent it. not real smart if ya ask me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
295 i saw hail earlier closer to tampa in the BO storm. gone now and it was comming towards pasco county.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
294,severestorm was taken and i thought this would be different. no harm taken your not the first or last to ask.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Impressive storms heading fr Tampa Bay area. But I'm not seeing hail, 290. One storm pretty far north says 40% chance of hail <0.5 in. Where did you see possibility for hail FLWeatherFreak?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
290 and there only calling for showers. i've been watching those storms for about an hour. there moving around 45kts. wow in an out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Cheney in wheelchair after pulling back muscle
Vice president was moving boxes into his home outside Washington, D.C.
Link

updated 7:11 p.m. CT, Mon., Jan. 19, 2009

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney pulled a muscle in his back while moving boxes and will be in a wheelchair for Tuesday's inauguration ceremony.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Monday that Cheney was helping to move into his new home outside Washington in McLean, Va., when he injured his back.

His doctor recommended that he needed a wheelchair for the next couple of days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Large cells heading toward the Bay area in the next hour. Risk of severe hail and gusts up to 70mph.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting dearmas:
It's going to be cold in Tampa, when will be the best time for snow here? Anyone know?
12-5 tomorrow night
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
288. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Seychelles Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Warning Number EIGHT
TROPICAL CYCLONE FANELE (07-20082009)
4:00 AM RĂ©union January 20 2009
======================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Fanele (950 hPa) located at 21.1S 41.7E has 10 minute sustained winds of 80 knots with gusts of 115 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving northeast at 5 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T5.0

Hurricane-Force Winds
======================
20 NM from the center

Storm-Force Winds
=================
40 NM from the center

Gale-Force Winds
================
60 NM from the center

Near-Gale Force Winds
======================
80 NM from the center extending up to 110 in the southwestern quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 20.4S 42.7E - 90 knots (Intense Tropical Cyclone)
24 HRS: 20.8 /43.8E - 100 knots (Intense Tropical Cyclone)
48 HRS: 23.4S 47.2E - (DEPRESSION sur terre)
72 HRS: 25.1S 50.3E - 30 knots (DEPRESSION Tropicale)

Additional Information
========================
Fanele has rapidly intensified undergoing very favorable environmental condition under the upper level ridge with good low level inflow equatorward and a strengthening poleward one, related to the rebuilding high pressures in the southwest. Most of the available NWP models show and eastern turn towards the western coast of Madagascar but they are still some spread in both track and speed. Current forecast is based on a general consensus.

INTERESTED AREAS ALONG THE SOUTHWESTERN COAST OF MADAGASCAR SHOULD VERY CLOSELY MONITORED THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46152
Quoting severstorm:
evening all, dont you just like the ring of SNOW in Tampa and next weekend we will be in the mid 70's. gotta love it!!!


We have the best weather here in Tampa :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It's going to be cold in Tampa, when will be the best time for snow here? Anyone know?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm sorry the record for warmest temperature for a snowfall is actually 47F at LaGuardia airport (not 51).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 335 - 285

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.