While temperatures have had their highs and lows throughout the history of the inauguration, new presidents have generally lucked out when it comes weather conditions. According to the National Weather Service, George W. Bush in 2005 was the last president to have snow on the ground during the inauguration, and President John F. Kennedy in 1961 was the last president where it snowed prior to the ceremony with a fresh 8 inches on the ground for the swearing. The last time significant snow was falling during the ceremony? William H. Taft back way back in 1909. By the time the snow wrapped up just before 1 p.m. in the afternoon, there was 10 inches of fresh snowfall on the ground.
We can say with absolute confidence that President-Elect Donald J. Trump will not have any winter weather to contend with during his swearing in early Friday afternoon, but that does not mean the weather will be ideal. Weather models show a weak system pushing into the region during the mid-to-late morning hours of Friday, bringing some rain showers along with it. As early as between 8 a.m.and 9 a.m. in the morning there are indications that the D.C. region could be looking at some spotty drizzle or light shower activity. LINK: Guide to Inauguration Day 2017
The "main event" looks to be sometime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with light rain overspreading the region. The good news is that this rain is not expected to be particularly heavy as the weather system will be weakening as it crosses our region. After 2 p.m., a lingering shower or area of drizzle will remain possible into the early evening hours, but the majority of the reason will begin to dry out. If you are heading downtown for the ceremony, pack the poncho if you wish to stay dry. Just announced this morning, security WILL allow umbrellas on the National Mall and along the parade route but only the "tote" variety, which are the ones that collapse and fold up. Long, non-collapsible umbrellas WILL NOT be allowed within the security boundary, so plan accordingly. You’ll also want to dress on the warm side. Temperatures are forecasted to be in the 40s for the duration of the day and, with the sun not expected to be in attendance, there will be a noticeable chill in the air. LINK: Inauguration Day 2017 Survival Guide
On the brighter side of things, conditions look much better for the Women’s March on Washington, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. With dry conditions expected throughout the day, temperatures are expected to warm well above the January norm and reach the low-to-mid 50s in the afternoon. However, a steady easterly breeze should keep the region dealing with considerably more clouds than sunshine throughout the day. With the sun expected to only make a few "limited" appearances, we still recommend at least a warm jacket or sweatshirt for those heading downtown as even the mid-50s will still feel on the cooler side. LINK: Guide to Women's March on Washington