Thursday, September 3, 2015

Coldest January in 10 years, officially

Final score: Philly 8.3 degrees colder, and 20 inches snowier, than Juneau, Alaska, in January.

Coldest January in 10 years, officially


In a month when a Dead Sea’s worth of road salt has been spread across the region's roads, driveways, and parking lots, Philadelphia marked a several weather milestones in January.

Based on the final official numbers, Philadelphia’s average temperature came in at 28.3 degrees, the coldest January in a decade. A few other notable temperature highlights:

--On three days, the high didn’t make it to 20, the most under-20 days since 1994.

--Daily lows fell to single digits five times; before this year, the official temperature fell below 10 only two times since 2006.

--Temperatures during the month ranged from 61 on the 11th to 4 on the 7th.

As for snow:

--The monthly total of 25.9 was the third highest for a January in records dating to the winter of 1884-85.

--The seasonal total of 37.1 was the fifth-highest by a Feb. 1 on record. Already, the winter of 2013-14 is in 15th place for snow for an entire season.

--For the first time, two 8-inch-plus snowfalls occurred in a January, and for the first time, three 8-inch-plus snows have fallen in a season before Feb. 1.

We mentioned in Friday’s post that Philadelphia’s average temperature for January was close to the normal for Juneau, Alaska. Often, weather in Alaska is the mirror opposite of what it is here.

The final standings are in, and Juneau finished at 36.6 degrees for January, better than 8.3 degrees above normal. As for snow, it had a grand total of 4.7 inches; the January normal there is 27.8 inches.

You may already have noticed that the National Weather Service has posted a winter storm watch for Monday for 3 to 5 inches of snow in the immediate Philadelphia area.

But February is going to have a hard time upstaging January.


Inquirer Weather Columnist
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Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

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