After many gloomy days, Friday was a meteorological Oktoberfest

October has its festivals, so perhaps Friday in Washington was something of a sun festival, a balmy and luscious day of steady sunshine and vibrant colors contrasting with the past few days of gray overcast and cold rain.

Ablaze with the atmospheric gifts of early fall, Friday reached a remarkable brightness and unusual warmth in Washington, and was laudable for that alone.

But so many judgments depend on comparisons that sheer meteorological justice may have required Friday to benefit by noting how it differs from the first five days of the month.

These days scored in the categories cool, rainy and gloomy. Such days deserve their place and can enable us to expand our environmental awareness and try life in places where such conditions may be the norm.

But days like Friday (and Thursday too) remind many of us that maybe there’s nothing like the sun.

Days like our Friday help us to remember how much we are creatures of the sun. Perhaps only his absence can remind us that we depend on him to lift spirits, provide warmth, and demonstrate the full visual appeal of a dry autumn day.

As the bygone days begin to ignite the scarlet and gold on treetops or branches, Friday helped show how much their blaze owes to the autumn sun.

On Friday, nature seemed to shake off the grimness of earlier this week and celebrate.

It was a day to see blue skies and white clouds through the canopy of trees, many about to turn on branches nodding in a warm breeze.

Washington’s 81-degree high meant we haven’t had a warmer day since September 22 with its September 83. October had been thermally frugal: the first five days only had highs in the 60s and 50s.

Tuesday had proven to be notoriously cool. On Tuesday, Washington’s official high was just 55.

According to National Weather Service records, Tuesday was the first October 4 that mercury did not rise above 55 here.

It seemed to be telling us to prepare for winter. But just two days later, Friday came and things calmed down.

About Mike Crayton

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