baltimoresun.com

« Forecast is good for Deep Impact launch | Main | Warmer Thursday, then heavy rain, then cold »

January 12, 2005

Inaugural weather can be d'icey

Washington DC may be a southern city, but it's not always the best place to hold an outdoor event in mid-January. With the second inauguration of President George W. Bush coming up next week, forecasters will be keeping a close eye on the developing forecast for Jan. 20. So far next week is looking sunny and cold, with highs in the 30s. But it can turn nasty.

Many of us remember the 1961 inauguration of President John F. Kennedy as an especially wintry one. Washington had received 8 inches of snow the night before, and by the time the festivities began it was 22 degrees, with stiff winds and wind chills below zero. Everyone worried when Kennedy showed up without a hat. Franklin Roosevelt's 1937 inauguration fell on a day that saw 1.77 inches of rain. FDR rode away in an open car with a half-inch of water on the floor.

Failure to dress properly for the inauguration had proven fatal more than once. William Henry Harrison was inaugurated in 1841, and rode back to the White House on horseback without his hat and coat. He caught a cold, then pneumonia, and he was dead in a month.

And that was back when inaugurations were held on March 4 or 5. The date was switched to Jan. 20 by a constitutional amendment passed in 1932.

After the 1853 swearing-in of President Franklin Pierce, the outgoing first lady - Abigail Fillmore - caught cold. That, too, progressed to pneumonia, and she expired a month later.

The worst inaugural weather was probably that which greeted President William H. Taft in 1909. Washington got 10 inches of snow that day. The trains were stalled and the streets were clogged. Everybody went indoors for that one.

For all the inaugural weather lore you could ever want, click here. Thanks to the National Weather Service.

Posted by Admin at 10:39 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: History
        

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Sign up for FREE weather alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for weather text alerts
SKY NOTES WEATHER

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Maryland Weather Center


Area Weather Stations
Resources and Sun coverage
• Weather news

• Readers' photos

• Data from the The Sun's weather station

• 2011 stargazers' calendar

• Become a backyard astronomer in five simple steps

• Baltimore Weather Archive
Daily airport weather data for Baltimore from 1948 to today

• National Weather Service:
Sterling Forecast Office

• Capital Weather Gang:
Washington Post weather blog

• CoCoRaHS:
Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Local observations by volunteers

• Weather Bug:
Webcams across the state

• National Data Buoy Center:
Weather and ocean data from bay and ocean buoys

• U.S. Drought Monitor:
Weekly maps of drought conditions in the U.S.

• USGS Earthquake Hazards Program:
Real-time data on earthquakes

• Water data:
From the USGS, Maryland

• National Hurricane Center

• Air Now:
Government site for air quality information

• NWS Climate Prediction Center:
Long-term and seasonal forecasts

• U.S. Climate at a Glance:
NOAA interactive site for past climate data, national, state and city

• Clear Sky Clock:
Clear sky alerts for stargazers

• NASA TV:
Watch NASA TV

• Hubblesite:
Home page for Hubble Space Telescope

• Heavens Above:
Everything for the backyard stargazer, tailored to your location

• NASA Eclipse Home Page:
Centuries of eclipse predictions

• Cruise Critic: Hurricane Zone:
Check to see how hurricanes may affect your cruise schedule

• Warming World:
NASA explains the science of climate change with articles, videos, “data visualizations,” and space-based imagery.

• What on Earth:
NASA blog on current research at the space agency.
Most Recent Comments
Blog updates
Recent updates to baltimoresun.com news blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected