Cold for inauguration, even colder for inaugural balls

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Local,Andy Brownfield,Inauguration

Will be cold for inauguration, even colder for inaugural balls

The hundreds of thousands of people expected to wait for hours on the National Mall for the swearing-in of President Obama on Monday may have caught a break. A cold front expected to drop temperatures into the teens won't hit until the evening, well after the main event is over.

However, the wind will make it feel like temperatures are in the mid-30s during the swearing-in ceremony, and there's a small chance of snow flurries during those morning hours.

Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, predicts the mercury will hit 40 degrees about the time Obama takes the oath of office at 11:30 a.m., though the wind chill will make it feel more like 34 degrees.

"We'll also have an unstable atmosphere, a little bit, so what we're expecting through the midday and really through the afternoon are some chances of snow showers," Jackson said. "Those are the kind where it could be 42, 43 out, but if you get a shower it could cool the air down quite a bit."

The coldest part of the day will be at 7 a.m., when gates open for those on the Mall. It'll be about 30 degrees then, with slight gusts that make it feel more like 25, Jackson said.

Those with inaugural ball tickets and attending other evening events won't be as lucky. The cold front and stronger winds will push temperatures into the teens.

There is no dress code for the inaugural ceremony, but the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies advises attendees wear a winter coat, comfortable shoes, gloves, a hat or scarf, and a blanket.

abrownfield@washingtonexaminer.com

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Andy Brownfield

Examiner Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner