Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The upcoming Inauguration Day will look much different than it has in past years, but one normal thing the limited audience physically present to witness the historical day can count on is the weather.
At this time, AccuWeather forecasters say the weather looks to cooperate as best it can for the inauguration, considering the ceremony is held outdoors in the middle of January in the Northern Hemisphere.
A weak storm is likely to track through the northeastern U.S. Tuesday and Tuesday night, but any snow from this storm will be confined to the north and west of the Washington, D.C. metro. Dry conditions are likely to remain in place for the district for Wednesday, although a few lingering snow showers are possible north and west of the area.
Inauguration Day itself will begin with air temperatures in the lower 30s F right around sunrise. However, a gusty wind in the morning will force AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures to be much lower than the air temperature, in the middle to upper 20s F. Temperatures will slowly climb through the 30s throughout the morning on Wednesday as the sun makes an appearance.
As President Biden's term begins at noon, the mercury will likely show a reading in the upper 30s or near 40 F with a brisk wind contributing to AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures near freezing. Following the ceremony, temperatures are forecast to peak in the lower to middle 40s in the afternoon. The wind is likely to stay active into the afternoon hours before diminishing toward evening.
The normal high temperature for Jan. 20 in the D.C. area is 43 F, so actual air temperatures will be very close to normal levels for Wednesday's event.
Although it looks like disruptive weather will hold off this year as Biden takes the oath of office, Mother Nature has made her presence known on several Inauguration Days throughout recent history.
Rain showers forced attendees to pull out umbrellas and don ponchos at the inauguration of President Donald Trump in 2017. This wet weather was accompanied by unusually mild conditions for the middle of January in the nation's capital. The temperature was 48 degrees Fahrenheit as Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the U.S. at noon, making it the 4th warmest January inaugural temperature on record, according to a report from The Washington Post. For additional context, the record-high temperature for the date was 70 degrees, which was set in 1951.
Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the U.S. in 2009 amid subfreezing conditions. The temperature at noon was 28 degrees when he took the oath of office. It was so cold that Obama made a prediction of his own for his second inauguration in 2013: "This one is going to be warmer," he pledged to a voter, according to Politico. Turns out his forecast was accurate as the high climbed to 45 F at noon on Jan. 20, 2013, the National Weather Service reported.
Some inaugurations in the past occurred during even more bitter conditions. When President Ronald Reagan was sworn in for his second term, the temperature at noon reached only 7 F, after a morning low of minus 4 F. With AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures well below zero, the frigid conditions forced the ceremony to be held indoors.