Feb 3, 2023 - News

Boston records one of its warmest januarys

Warmest Januarys in Boston, 1872-2023
Data: NOAA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Even though we’re set for a potentially record-breaking cold snap this weekend, last month marked one of the warmest Januarys on record, with an average temperature well above freezing.

Why it matters: While it might be nice to have an atypically balmy winter instead of mountains of snow, warmer air means more pests and challenges for the winter recreation and timber industries.

  • The first month of 2023 averaged 37.8°F, making it the fifth warmest January since accurate record-keeping began in 1872.
  • 2020 was slightly warmer at 38°F and the warmest it's ever been in January was 39.3°F in 1913.

The big picture, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: With human-caused climate change, winters are warming faster than summers in much of the U.S., and the warmth throughout the northeast last month was noteworthy and consistent with that trend.

  • Winter average temperatures in the region are increasing around 160% faster than the overall annual averages, according to the state.

❄️ Warmer temperatures have already decreased our likelihood of seeing snow-covered white Christmases in New England.

  • But hotter summers are also already here, with Nantucket notching a July last year that was 4.6°F hotter than average for the island.

A climate report issued last year forecast that Massachusetts's warmest days will continue to feel hotter and hotter.

  • What felt like a hot 81°F day historically will feel like 94°F in 2050 and even 99°F in 2070.

Yes, but: Jack Frost is back in a big way starting later today, when a blast of arctic air will ruin everyone's weekend and send temperatures into the negative single digits.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Boston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Boston stories


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Boston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more