January 2011 Started With A Thaw Then Turned Colder

OSWEGO, NY – January 2011 started off with a “January Thaw” but it didn’t last more than 2 days.

“We started with a 49 degrees and a 52 degrees couple of days and then things turned real cold for just about the rest of the entire month,” according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

The average temperature last month was 22.7 degrees. That is 0.9-degree below average.

January started with temperatures around 50 degrees. However, it wound up nearly a degree colder than average. And, the snowfall was 32.8 inches above average; making it the fifth snowiest January since 1899.
January started with temperatures around 50 degrees. However, it wound up nearly a degree colder than average. And, the snowfall was 32.8 inches above average; making it the fifth snowiest January since 1899.

The highest temperature was 52 degrees on the 2nd and the lowest was -11 on the 24th. That was the coldest it has been since it sank to -14 degrees on Jan. 22, 2005.

Besides the 24th, the only other day where it was zero or below was the 17th when it hit zero.

There were no records set in January.

January saw 2 days where the high was in the single digits and 13 in the teens – with 7 in a row.

There was one day in the 50s (52 degrees on the 2nd) and one in the 40s (49 degrees on the 1st).

Last month also had 24 days where the temperature was 32 degrees or below; 7 of them were consecutive.

Fifteen days saw the mercury slip into the 20s.

Total precipitation for January was 3.34 inches. That’s 0.45-inch below normal.

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 1.01 inches on the 5th.

Since the first of the year, the precipitation of 3.34 inches, which is 0.45-inch below normal.

January had 25 days with measurable precipitation. There were stretches of 14 and 7 days in a row.

Four days saw just a trace of precipitation; they were consecutive, Gregway noted.

There were just 2 days with no measurable precipitation – the 11th and 31st.

There was one thunderstorm, “a thundersnow,” on the 4th, Gregway said. It was one more than average, he added. During that burst, 3 inches per hour fell at one point, he said.

No foggy days were recorded last month, which is average.

Snowfall last month came in at 82.5 inches. That’s 32.8 inches above average.

For the winter, snowfall stands at 119.7 inches. It’s more than we got all last winter and 27.0 inches higher than where we should be at the end of January, Gregway pointed out.

“Remember, November only got 0.7-inch (of snow). We’ve gotten all this snowfall in December and January,” Gregway said. “It’s the fifth snowiest January since 1899.”

The top 4 include 120.3 inches in 1978, 105.0 inches in 2004, 97.5 inches in 1977 and 93.8 inches in 1994.

The greatest snowfall in a 24-hour period was 12.0 inches on the 5th.

January had snow pellets 6 times and ice pellets and freezing rain once each.

The area received 18 percent of the possible amount of sunshine. That is 1 percentage below average.

The number of cloudy days, 24, was normal.

The number of partly cloudy days, 6, was 1 above average.

The number of clear days, 1, was 1 below average.

“We kind of had our January thaw on the 1st and a little into the 2nd,” Gregway said. “One the 1st, there was only a trace of snow on the ground and it was rainy.”

From the 20th through the 23rd, the area received 24.5 inches of snow and there was about 30 inches of snow on the ground then, he added.

“We ended the month with around 20 inches on the ground,” he said.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.56 on the 31st and the lowest was 29.34 on the 7th.

The strongest winds were west-southwesterly at greater than 35 mph on the 15th and on the 21st the winds were west-southwesterly to westerly gusting around 30 mph.

“January wasn’t as windy as some of the other recent months,” Gregway said. “We only had 6 times where the winds got up around 20 mph or higher. Usually there is more wind ion the winter to blow stuff around. It really hasn’t been a factor recently.”

January 29 marked the anniversary of the start of the Blizzard of 1966, Gregway said, adding the storm raged for 5 days.

The warmest January is 1880 (35.8 degrees). Just recently, 2006 saw an average temperature of 33.4 degrees, Gregway pointed out.

The coldest is 1920 (13.6 degrees).

The highest temperature for January is 69 degrees (in 1906 and 1950) and the coldest is -22 degrees in 1904.

January 1978 had the most total precipitation (8.43 inches), while 1921 had the least (0.60-inch).

The most snow in a January is 120.3 inches in 1978. The least is 3.9 inches in 1921.

January 2010 was 1.4 degrees above normal. Precipitation was 3.51 inches and snowfall was 50.5 inches. At the end of January 2010, snowfall for the winter was 78.4 inches.

The amount of sunshine was the same as this year.