If you live in Maine, you already know that the arrival of the 'January Thaw' is reason to rejoice. This brief spell of warm weather gives us hope that winter will end and summer will return in the not-too-distant future. If you are like me, you may secretly (although you wouldn't dare say it out loud) wonder if the January thaw is 'real'. I've heard others say that there is a thaw in every month and that a little warm weather in January isn't that unusual at all. They would be wrong.
According to the Farmer's Almanac, the January Thaw is a very real occurrence. Weather records really do confirm a rise in temperature during the last week of January before we plunge back into the deep freeze in February. You may be surprised to learn that to meet the definition of a January Thaw, the temps don't need to go above freezing (although they often do), but they do rise an average of 10 degrees higher than the previous week. Traditionally, January 23 is the coldest day of the year.
The January Thaw is what meteorologists call a singularity, or may affectionately refer to it as a blip. It is an anomaly, like Indian Summer when we get unseasonably warm weather in late October, that occurs more than 50% of the time. Here in Maine, we like to think the January Thaw occurs like clockwork 100% of the time - in fact, many of us count on it as a sign that all is well and spring is on the way.
According to the National Weather Service, my area can look forward to above freezing (approaching 40 degrees!) weather on Sunday and Monday. While it's not officially the last week of January, we'll take a January Thaw anytime we can get it. It will seem like a heatwave after our past week of subzero weather.
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