Alright! Congratulations folks you've made it through the worst of the cold weather. I admit, the cold air was bitter, biting, and brutal (any other 'b' adjectives anyone??) but when comparing it to our January thaw we had earlier this month, it wasn't as extreme. That's true in at least some cases. Let me take you through some of the data.
Below is a chart of the recorded low temperatures for 11 local towns and cities in our 'viewing area' in northern New England. Then you'll find the 3-day average low temperature and how that compares to 'typical January numbers' when comparing it to the 30-year average low (1981-2010). Finally the last chart will show the difference in temperatures (from lows recently) to difference in temperatures (from the January thaw).
|CITY||LOW TEMP WED 1/23||LOW TEMP THU 1/24||LOW TEMP 1/25|
Note the areas that got hit the hardest by this deep freeze, Saranac Lake, St. Johnsbury, and Montpelier. In short, the typical colder spots across the Adirondack region and northeastern Vermont felt the coldest air. Those who escaped the worst of it were southern areas, as Bennington and Springfield, Vermont only (funny saying only) dipped to -3 and -4 F.
|CITY||3-DAY AVG TEMP||DEPARTURE FROM JAN 23-25 AVERAGE|
When comparing these numbers to what we typically see in late January, they were significantly below average! Temperatures were roughly 10 to 20 degrees below average across the widespread area. Now that's nothing against this cold stretch, but let's now compare it to the January thaw we had.
|CITY||AVG COLD DEPARTURE (1/23-25)||AVG THAW DEPARTURE (1/12-24)|
For Burlington the January thaw was technically stronger than this deep freeze. That's when you compare the difference from average high temperatures January 12-14, 2013 and the difference from average low temperatures January 23-25, 2013. Burlington averaged +20.3 F but -17.7 F from the thaw to the freeze. However, that's not true for everyone. Montpelier averaged +18.3 F but -20.7 F from the thaw to the freeze.
These stats remind me of last year, where across the nation the number of record highs outnumbered the number of record lows by more than 2:1. In our area we had several more record highs than record lows. What I've noticed in this area during the last two years is that the warm stretches of weather are more intense than the cold stretches, both longer lasting and a farther departure from climate average.
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier