Coldest Start To A Year On Record In The US

Afternoon temperatures during the first week of January have been declining in the US for a century, and have dropped more than ten degrees during the last decade.

The percentage of nights below 20 and 10F were highest on record this year.

But January wasn’t always cold like this in the US. During January 1790, Philadelphia was having temperatures over 70 degrees.

A Meteorological Account of the Weather in Philadelphia: From January 1 … – Charles Peirce – Google Books

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10 Responses to Coldest Start To A Year On Record In The US

  1. John F. Hultquist says:

    “. . . the mercury often ran up to 70 . . . ”

    Kids no longer know what mercury is.
    In 9th grade science class there was a box with about 50 small vials with mercury.
    For one class period, or part thereof, each student was handed one of these and instructions given to pour the liquid into a hand. By poking it and rolling it around the mercury would break into pieces — meaning little globes – and then could be re-assembled.
    Great fun.

    PS: snow impacting the Cascades Thurs. morning. I-90 east of Seattle was closed for a time. Opened. Likely close again, except 4x4s or chains are now required.

  2. Freddy Boom-Boom says:

    I love the old books that can be found on Google. I found one for New England as well (an 1891 publication: I opened the book link you provided and noticed that the very last sentence talking about how the mildness continued until Feb 7, at which time, Winter returned. It’s strikingly similar to what Joe Bastardi and has been forecasting over the past week or two. Specifically, that the latter half of January would be a thaw and that Winter will come roaring back in Feb. He’s referred to it as a “classic example” of what people used to say of winter that began early (gasp, he draws from historical precedence!) Joe is the man.

  3. Rah says:

    The second half of the month will be the opposite of the first. Big warm up coming for those of us in the east and most of “fly over country”. Looking more and more like the west is in for some cold during that time.

    • gregole says:


      Yeah, here in Phoenix we have been getting some extreme weather – extremely nice! The sick thing is, I just bet these nice, mild, warm temps we have been enjoying will show up on some gubment listing of “extreme” weather. If it cools off so be it. I’ll just have to put my glove liners back in for my daily motorcycle ride into work and don the long-johns.

  4. John F. Hultquist says:

    ” love the old books ”

    The folks of Clarion County, PA, have produced a deck of playing cards with photos from the old-times. Most of the photos come from an earlier picture book, some of those copies of old post cards. Our families are from western PA. My sister sent the book, a cousin sent the deck of cards. I know other places have done similar things.
    Such things are produced — maybe self published — and locally available for a short time.
    The copying and making available of old books by Google and others is one of the great things of modern technology.

    January Thaw

    Not to take anything away from Joe B., but “the January Thaw” is a well known thing from the mid-continent into Canada and then down through the states into Pennsylvania.
    It is worth reading about. And easily found on the web.

  5. Freddy Boom-Boom says:

    January Thaw: No doubt it is and probably explains why Joe called it a “classic example” of a certain pattern that’s been known and recognized for a long time, (and presumably by “regular” folks as well as meteorologist). So, I don’t believe he considered this a bombshell, or even noteworthy as such. In fact, I’d say you’ve reinforced his point: That when the social media boobery amps up and starts pointing to melt days in Jan and AGW evidence, it’s actually just another of many, run-of-the-mill winter patterns that have happened for as long as people have paid attention to their weather patterns. On the other hand, the fact that back in Oct., when all other weather sources were saying how warm it would be this winter, he forecast the depth and extent of cold as well as the timing of it…I WOULD say that is noteworthy. At least, for anyone who wants a reliable, honest and genuinely expert idea of what conditions will be like with as much warning as possible (as I do). So…until someone does it better, Joe’s the man.

    • John F. Hultquist says:

      Joe graduated from Penn State, a town along the 28th Division Highway (Route 322). That’s just 83 miles from where I lived, along the same highway.
      I hope he writes a book (with a good editor).

  6. Phil Jones says:

    Hey Goddard….

    Have you noticed any attempts to change archival Temp Data at any of these individual stations?? Is any data different NOW, than when you first downloaded it?

    I suspect the powers that be are systematically altering Historical Station Data available to the Public in favor of these adjusted datasets which support their theory, funding, and Political Motives.

    Please Respond, thanks,

    Your pal Phil.

    • Richard says:

      Weather data is collected in a different manner now than 40 years ago .Lighthouses were commonly used ,readings taken 3 times a day on crude equipment .Now its 24/7/365 days of the year .These readings have to be “adjusted ” NEWA in New Zealand & the Australian Met Office have been caught doing just that .

      • Phil Jones says:

        If Climate Change is so Critical.. There should be tens of thousands of temp units reporting continuously, Globally..

        All it takes are some instruments, solar panels, and cell phones to grid out the entire planet.

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