What is this—a winter like the good old days or a winter like never before?
It’s probably something of each, said Morenci area weather observer, George Isobar, and overall, just a wacky month of weather.
“I suppose it’s not like the old days because people always talk about lots of snow in years past, but we had only six and a half inches last month,” Isobar said.
“I don’t know about like never before, but I will give you this: It was a very odd month of weather,” he said.
There was a good solid winter with some snow on the ground and single-digit temperatures. There was a glimpse of spring with record-setting temperatures in the 60s and a thunderstorm. There were winds gusting into the 50 mile an hour range. And there were clouds. Lots of clouds.
“We often have a January thaw,” Isobar said, “but this was rather extreme. We’ve had temperatures in the 60s only four times in the last quarter century and this year was the warmest at 64°.”
Toledo reported 66° Jan. 7 and Detroit’s 64° was just three degrees shy of the all-time record for a January day, set in 1950.
“On the other hand, we had a low of -1° and another morning at 0,” Isobar said. “In the last two weeks of the month, we had single-digit readings on nine days, so that warmth early in the month really got balanced out.”
Actually, it wasn’t quite a balance. The mean temperature for the month came to be 3.5° above average. It was those extra warm days that made the difference, Isobar said.
Jan. 7 was 36° above normal and the next day was 33° above normal.
“That’s really very unusual,” Isobar said.
But the wackiest day of all? It wasn’t during the record-setting stretch, he said, it was late in the month on Jan. 29. In a 24-hour period, the temperature ranged from 50° to 4°...