Weather Highlights of Presidents' Day
Since the Presidents' Day holiday was first observed on the third Monday of February in 1971, temperatures have ranged from 3° in 2015 to 64° in 2008. There have been three consecutive Presidents' Days with highs of 32° or colder (1977-1979) and four in a row with highs of 50° or warmer (1981-1984). The three coldest (based on mean temperature) were in 2015 (high/low of 21°/3°); 1987 (32°/7°); and 2003 (26°/14°). The three warmest Presidents' Days were in 2023 (61°/47°); 2008 (64°/40°); and 1976 (60°/43°). Here are some additional highlights:
- The biggest temperature difference between two consecutive Presidents' Days was in 2007 and 2008 when a high/low of 30°/12° in '07 was followed by a high/low of 64°/40°. The closest in temperature were in 2009 and 2010, when the respective highs/lows were 40°/28° and 40°/27°, and in 1981 and 1982, when the highs/lows were 57°/34° and 56°/33°, respectively.
- The most years in a row with lows above freezing is five, from 1981 thru 1985. Ironically, this streak was preceded by the coldest streak, the four-year period from 1977 thru 1980. A five-year period from 2003 thru 2007 was also quite cold.
- Three of the coldest and two of the mildest readings on Presidents' Day have fallen on Feb. 16. Additionally, five of the seven coldest readings have occurred during the 21st century. Furthermore, three years in a row (2015-2017) had readings that were either among the coldest or mildest (2015, coldest on record; 2016, fourth coldest; and 2017, sixth mildest). Lastly, the consecutive years 1981 and 1982 had two of the mildest high temperatures, while 2003 and 2004 had two of the coldest lows. (See chart below.)
- Measurable snow has fallen in just five years, but two of these snowfalls were major snowstorms. In 2003 16.5" fell (and 3.5" fell the night before), while in 1979 12.7" fell. The other three snowfalls were in 2005 (3.5"), 2011 (3.2") and 2016 (1.4").
- The most consecutive years with measurable precipitation on Presidents Day is only two, and it's happened three times: 2018 and 2019; 2010 and 2011; and 1975 and 1976. The most years in a row with no precipitation is six, from 1980 to 1985.
- Looking at the three-day Presidents' Day weekends, 1979 was the coldest one, averaging a high/low of 19°/7° (along with a 12.7" snowstorm). The two next coldest were in consecutive years: 24°/6° in 2016 and 26°/8° in 2015. These were followed in 2017 by the mildest Prez Day weekend: 61°/42°; 1994 is second mildest, with a high/low of 59°/39°. There have been six years in which the lows for each day of the weekend were all 32° or milder (most recently in 2017) and four in which the highs were all 32° or colder (most recently in 2015).
- Finally, Presidents' Day weekend 2018 has the distinction of being the only one that reported measurable precipitation on all three days. At the other end of the spectrum, the most holiday weekends in a row with no measurable precipitation on any of its days is three, 1981-1983.
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