January 2009 continued our string of old-fashioned winter weather as it was colder than normal and snowfall was above normal. There were only two days above freezing as no January thaw came to relieve the cold of winter.
The average high temperature was 22.6 degrees and the average low was 2.2 degrees, giving an average temperature of 12.4 degrees, 5.8 degrees below normal, and the fifth coldest on record. The coldest January on record was in both 1982 and 1994 when the average temperature was 8.2 degrees. The warmest January on record was in 1995 and 2002 when the average was 26.9 degrees. Three of the five coldest January's have been since the year 2000. The other two years were 2003 and 2004.
The highest temperature, 36 degrees, was recorded on the 23rd and the lowest, -23 degrees, was recorded on the 10th.This is the coldest it has been since Jan. 19, 1997 when it was also -23 degrees. The coldest temperature on record was recorded Jan. 7, 1994 when it was -36 degrees. There were 12 days with below zero readings compared to an average of 7. There were 1638.5 degree days bringing our seasonal total to 4698.5.
The Winter of 2008-2009 continued with above normal snowfall as 26.9 inches was measured, 6.8 inches above normal. This brings our seasonal total to 77.9 inches which is only 0.6 inch below our average seasonal total of 78.5 inches. With February and March to go we should approach 100 inches which has happened only 4 times in the past thirty years. The largest storm on the 28th brought 9.5 inches. On that date there were 32 inches on the ground in Riparius.
The river reached its highest level, 5.11 feet on the 1st and its lowest level, 3.09 feet, on the 25th. The river dropped over 6 inches the night of the 22nd as an apparent ice jam has occurred in the gorge above North River. This will bear watching when thawing begins in earnest this spring.