January on ice

January finished about 3 degrees below normal in Philadelphia, and it was quite cold in much of the nation

The National Climate Data Center reported today it was the chilliest January since 1994, a month that may be a first-ballot selection in the U.S. winter hall of fame.

January 1994 marked the last time that the temperature fell below zero in Philadelphia, and it was a month of memorable local ice storms.

Nationally, the climate center calculated that the January 2011 temperature was 0.8 degrees below the 20th Century average. In the 117-year period of record, it was the 37th coolest.

Around here, it wasn't quite in a league with 1994, however. The Pennsylvania statewide average temperature last month was 24.4, compared with 18 in January 1994.

It may feel like the cold, old days for the next few days, but a warm-up definitely is coming.