Jinx alert. Don’t read further unless you like cold, harsh winters.
Because the fact is that so far this winter has been largely a no-show. Since the damp, misty holiday season, there hasn’t been much cold.
The month of January is so far the third warmest January ever recorded in Boston, with an average daily temperature of 38.3 degrees as of Wednesday, said Rodney Chai, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.
It hasn’t been that warm in decades. The current records are held by 1913, when the average was 39.3 degrees, 1932 (38.8 degrees), and 1933 (37.9 degrees).
Chai cautioned that the temperature numbers for Thursday and Friday have yet to come in, though, saying this month could ultimately end up being the fourth or fifth warmest January since records began being kept in the late 19th century.
“It’s definitely in the top 10,” though, he said Thursday.
The shirtsleeve weather on Jan. 11 and Jan. 12, when high temperatures hit 70 and 74, respectively, certainly helped boost the averages.
Look a little further back, into the holiday season, and the extent of the warm patch becomes clear. Temperatures in the last 10 days of the year were above normal.
The period from Dec. 22 to Wednesday was the second warmest period on record for those dates with an average daily temperature of 38.97 degrees, according to National Weather Service records. It was beaten out only by the winter of 1932 when the average daily temperature over that period was 39.48 degrees.
Looking back at observed temperatures for #Boston the past 90 days, there were many days colder than normal back in November and December. However since around Christmas quite the pattern change with most days running above normal. #MA #Winter pic.twitter.com/8uZdWxNzmX— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) January 30, 2020
We haven’t gotten much snow, either. So far this meteorological winter (December, January, and February) we’ve gotten 14.6 inches of snow. We should have gotten 21.1 inches, Chai said.
January has been particularly lacking in snow, with only 3.1 inches recorded, compared with an average of 12.3 inches.
Thursday morning started off cold, with temperatures in some areas of the state in the teens. But “all indications are for above normal temperatures to persist along the East Coast including #MA #RI #CT into at least the first 10 days or so of February,” the weather service tweeted.
Chai said next Tuesday and Wednesday the temperatures would likely be back in the 50s.
A word to the wise: The nightmare winter of 2015 was pretty meek until late January. A storm on Jan 26-27, 2015, kicked off a nightmare series of miserable storms that ended up dumping record snowfall.
All it takes is temperatures to edge below freezing and some moisture and a snowy mess can result.
“How many years in January have I said to myself, no winter this year, only to have winter hit hard in February and March,” Jim Cilla Ellis commented on the weather service’s Facebook page.
“It’s definitely not over. We still have a lot of winter," said Chai.