January 2014 was the coldest month in Syracuse in 5 years: Dave Longley's blog

By Chief Meteorologist Dave Longley

Published 01/31 2014 10:11AM

Updated 01/31 2014 10:54AM

(WSYR-TV, Syracuse)  January 2014 will end up being the coldest month in 5 years in Syracuse.  You have to go back half a decade (and I did), to January 2009, to find a temperature departure of -4° or colder.

January temperatures were all over the place.  The month and year started with a bang, with an 8 inch snowfall on the 2nd.  Behind that storm, temperatures plummeted, but really we only had a couple days of bitter cold.  By the 6th, the high was 50, but the next day, the high was 8.  Then we had our January thaw during the middle of the month, where there were 2 days in the 50s.  The mid-month warm up erased any temperature deficit accumulated in the beginning of the month, and by mid month, the average temperature for January was, well, normal.

Then the long, cold, slog which was the second half of January began,  where there were 2 days the high temperature never got to 10 degrees, and there were 5 days when the morning low temperature dropped below zero in Syracuse.

Given all of this, the average temperature for the month of January will end up around 19.9 degrees, nearly 4 degrees below normal.  The record coldest January was set in 1994 at 12.6°.  

I think what made this January seem so brutally cold is that we got off pretty easy the past couple of years.  Temperatures for the month of January were above to much above normal (4 degrees in 2013 and 7.5 degrees in 2012).

As always, long range forecasting is difficult, but I know you're wondering if this cold will continue into February.  Well, the cold is here to stay into February, but we may see the core of coldest arctic air shift farther to our west, with brief intrusions of bitter cold air.  Overall, I feel the month will end up below normal in temperature.  It looks like the storm track will be a bit more active for us (makes sense, since we're not firmly entrenched in the arctic air) which will mean snowfall for February could end up near to slightly above normal.  Normal snowfall for February in Syracuse is 25.3".

As always, you can e-mail me any questions or comments at davelongley@localsyr.com  You can always 'like' me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

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