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.

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