The Coldest Winter We’ve Seen In A Few Years

| January 31, 2018 @ 2:11 pm

Meteorological winter runs from December to February, and so far, this has been one of the coldest winters in Birmingham history.

The season started off cold, as December finished with an average temperature of 45.5F. That is 0.6F below normal for the month. You have to go back to December 2010 to find a colder December, when the average was 40.1F. Heating degree days, which are a measure of how much heat we have to use, totaled 597, a little more than the average of 589.

But Central Alabama went into the deep freeze on December 31st and we haven’t really looked back. The average temperature for January at Birmingham will finish at 40.1F, which is nearly four degrees below the normal mean temperature of 44F. You have to go back to 2014 to find a colder January, and we know what happened that year! January 2018 ranks as the 25th coldest on record here. Our weather records go back to 1897.

We will have recorded the 19th most heating degree days in January, at 766. This is 24% more than the average, which is 618. There have been three days with high temperatures below freezing and 18 nights with lows below 32F. This is more than the average of 15 nights. Eight nights have been in the teens and one night was even in the single digits for the low.

The cold is especially noticeable this winter since the winter of 2016-2017 was so much above normal. December, January, and February were all well above normal last winter.

The prospects for the coming few days are not very warm either. We remain chilly through the next ten days, with several days featuring highs in the 40s and not one day above 60F until February 8th. The good news is that the remainder of February looks like it will moderate some according to the National Weather Service’s long-range climate model, the CFS.

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About the Author ()

Scott Martin is an operational meteorologist, professional graphic artist, musician, husband, and father. Not only is Scott a member of the National Weather Association, but he is also the Central Alabama Chapter of the NWA president. Scott is also the co-founder of Racecast Weather, which provides forecasts for many racing series across the USA. He also supplies forecasts for the BassMaster Elite Series events including the BassMaster Classic.

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