Last month on the morning of December 28, Boston’s temperature went to 24 degrees. That would be the last time until yesterday that the temperature would go below 30 degrees, a remarkable stretch during what is typically some of the coldest weather of the year. If yesterday seemed unusually chilly, it was still technically above average by a degree. Climatological so-called normals comprised 30 years’ worth of data.
This week will not be as warm as last. The first seven days of January were the sixth warmest on record. We should see more typical January temperatures in the next few days, although still not cold for the time of year.
My snowshoes and cross-country skis continue to sit idle. The warmer-than-average temperatures and lack of snow certainly render it easier to walk the dog, and our energy savings are going to be notable. Even if the cost of fuel has gone up since last year, at least we’re using less.
There are winners and losers in this kind of winter. Winter sports enthusiasts and those of you who might make a living moving all the snow around are certainly not happy. The pattern can still change for February but shows no signs of giving up.
Our next storm will be another rainmaker as it arrives later Thursday. Initially, there will be enough cold air that there could be a couple of hours of freezing drizzle before the rain comes Thursday night. Temperatures will head above freezing and remain there during the storm.
I expect half an inch to an inch and a half of rain for all of Southern New England. This will be a rainmaker for Northern New England, although the mountains could see some snow at the onset and on the back side of the storm.
The jet stream which guides our weather continues to be dominated by a strong Pacific branch.
The flow of mild air coming into California will produce copious amounts of rain and multiple feet of snow in the mountains. That atmospheric river of moisture will be newsworthy for the next five to seven days, and as long as the Pacific jet is that powerful, the cold Arctic air will have a hard time getting down into the United States.
Back in New England, water temperatures in some of the coves of Maine are still well into the 40s. And in Southern New England, the ground is barely frozen. My grandmother used to call these types of winters “open,” and they do happen.
Just over a decade ago, greater Boston saw very little snow and cold. Further back in 1980, the Olympics were at Lake Placid, and man-made snow was needed for events.
Research says our continually warming climate makes these types of winters more likely. Without deep cold and snow, some of the flora and fauna which rely on those conditions will struggle. I even pulled a tick off my dog this weekend while walking in southern Maine. The longer this goes on, the more the odds of the winter of 2022-2023 being a dud continue to increase.