Winter Weather Still on Hold

By Russell Russ

Unlike our previous two Januarys, January 2016 came and went without much in the way of winter weather. It was warmer than normal and snowfall was well below normal. It just seemed that winter was on hold. Our last two Januarys had above average snowfall and no thaw period, this year except for a few days, we were basically in a constant thaw period.

Most lakes and ponds iced over during the first week of the month. Many smaller ponds iced over on January 4, Tobey iced over on January 6. By the middle of the month the ice was thick enough for ice fisherman. Strangely, Wangum Lake never fully iced over throughout the entire month. Typically the ice on Wangum and Tobey go in and out within a few days of each other, but not this year. It is quite the mystery.

The average mean temperature of 23.9 degrees was 3.2 degrees above normal. It was the warmest January over the last three years, but overall not even in the top fifteen for warmest on record over the last eighty five years. The warmest January on record was in 2002 with an average temperature of 31.7 degrees. The month’s high temperature of 54 degrees was observed on January 10. This was a record high for that date, surpassing the previous January 10 record of 52 set in 1983. The low temperature of 0 degrees was observed on January 5.

January’s total precipitation of 1.97 inches was 2.06 inches below normal. The monthly snowfall total of just 4.8 inches was 16.3 inches below normal. It was the fourth lowest January monthly snowfall total in the last eighty five years. The record for least snowfall for a January is 2.6 inches from 1980.

Winter will have to arrive at some point. It is just a matter of when. A sneak peek at February through the middle of the month shows that it started out warmer than normal, but that was followed by several snowfalls and a record low of minus 19 on February 14. Coldest Valentine’s Day on record. Winter did finally arrive in February. Will it be short-lived this year or will it stick around for a while? As always, stay tuned.

Check out the November/December 2015 weather narrative which includes a summary for the year 2015. To view the November/December 2015 narrative, click on PAST NARRATIVES to the right and scroll down to bottom. The year of 2015 was a strange weather year for sure.

Click on the WEATHER DATA SHEETS listed to the right to see the revised weather breakdowns for this station’s 84-year history.