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Historical Holiday Weather: Washington D.C. 1913

27 Dec 2017, 1:41 pm


On Christmas Eve 1913, over 20,000 spectators gathered at the U.S. Capitol building for the first national Christmas celebration in Washington, DC. After a sunny morning, the Nation’s capital saw increasing cloudiness throughout the afternoon, with a high of 46°F after a low of 34°F. A faint solar halo was observed at 11:05 a.m.—evidence that high cirrus clouds, ahead of a storm system, were present.

A chorus of 1,000 local singers entertained the crowd as the Christmas tree, a 40-foot Norway spruce, came alive with light. Though it had rained 0.61 inches the day prior, spectators were fortunate. The rain held off all Christmas Eve, but resumed on Christmas Day at 10:30 a.m. and continued into the 26th, totaling 1.31 inches. There was no white Christmas in Washington, DC, that year.

To learn more about the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, visit the National Park Service’s History of National Christmas Trees page. And, check out our infographic for an overview of the first national Christmas celebration.

Edited for WeatherNation by Meteorologist Mace Michaels

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