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Does anyone else feel like January is a long month?

Big, puffy, winter coats were in abundance on the Boston Common.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Does anyone else feel like January is an exceptionally long and (mostly) cold month? If you look at the curve of yearly temperatures, you will find that we are now at the bottom. Some years the coldest week of the year occurs earlier and some years it occurs later. I suspect that this year our upcoming seven to 10 days are going to be the coldest of the winter onaverage.

Daily temperature data for the Boston area.NOAA

And then there’s the snow that January brings. Over the next five days, we have two chances for snow, one of them coming in the wee hours of Thursday morning through about noon. The other may come over the weekend. The setup for each of these is somewhat different, but areas from the Mass Pike south bear the highest chance of snow.


Some morning rain changes to snow Thursday before ending with light accumulation.WeatherBell

A frontal system will pass through the area overnight and a small wave of low pressure will try to develop. This will bring a period of light snow with a coating to perhaps an inch or two in some areas. I suppose there could be 3 inches in some spots, but these would likely be the exception.

Some light snow is possible Thursday during the morning commute.Dave Epstein

Behind this area of snow, it will turn quite cold for the start of the weekend and we will have to watch a coastal storm as well. The track of that storm will determine whether or not we see any more snow later in the weekend. The signal for this second storm shows up nicely on the snow accumulation maps — the one below is from the EURO model. Notice most of the snow is forecast to be offshore. If the upper-level winds shift to the north, the track of the snow could move inland.

Most of the snow this weekend is forecast to be offshore.WeatherBELL

There’s definitely going to be plenty of cold air, the question is whether that cold, dry air from the north suppresses the system to the south, or there’s enough of a push in the jet stream to merge the moisture from the storm with the cold air and bring us some snow. Presently, it doesn’t look like a major system, but it’s early enough that the forecast can change, so stay tuned.


Temperatures are expected to remain low into next week.WeatherBELL

The final week of January will continue to serve up below-average temperatures. I don’t yet want to commit to any sort of milder pattern change in February, but if you don’t like the cold, there are a few subtle signs that the very coldest days may be behind us by the time we begin the shortest month of the year.