Accurate Winter Temperatures - January 2014
The Living Landscape Journal
Accurate Winter Temperatures
Decembers weather started out warmer than normal. By the second week of the month the cold weather settled in and it began to snow. We got three snow storms in December and ice also became an underlying issue. A week before Christmas we had close to a foot of snow on the ground and it was cold. We set two cold temperature records during this cold snap. The buzz around town was we were in for an old fashioned winter and our first white Christmas in a few years.
The weekend before Christmas, the temperature shot up into the sixties, it began to rain and the fog set in. The rain, warm temperatures and fog devoured the snow pack overnight. Cold air settled in on Christmas Eve and it began to snow at sunset. The timing was perfect and just enough snow fell to give Christmas Eve a sugar coating and put us in the holiday spirit.
January was a continuation of our temperature roller coaster ride as temperatures fell way below zero and shot up into the fifties a day later. It was as if we were in a bad relationship with the weather Gods and they could not make up there minds.
The media jumped on to the bandwagon and latched on to their new weather phrase “Polar Vortex”. I have not heard that phrase used so often since the movie The Day after Tomorrow. These temperatures and weather extremes appear to be the normal this winter and as I write this article, on the afternoon of January 7th, it’s +5º F. After yesterdays 55º F rain, its remarkable how these temperature fluctuations occur in such a short period of time in early January.
Everyone needs to know the weather and the temperature trends each day before we venture outside. This information helps us dress comfortable and prepare us for how slick it may be under foot or tire. Many of us depend on the TV, radio and internet to find out how cold it is outside. We live in a rural mountain region and our temperatures tend to be colder than New York City, Poughkeepsie or Danbury. Morning temperatures can be as much as a five degree difference from Quaker Hill to the Village of Pawling. We should all have an outside thermometer at the house where we can check the temperature each day. Pick a spot that will give us an accurate reading. If placed on the house make sure it’s on the north side, in the shade, out of direct sunlight. We can mount the unit on a window frame, outside a bedroom, kitchen or living room window area where we can get an unobstructed view. An accurate long lasting thermometer comes in all shapes and sizes. Before purchasing our outdoor thermometer make sure it is showing an accurate temperature so purchase the unit showing the most accurate reading. Knowing the correct outside temperature before we venture outside will help us dress and travel safely.
Pete and the Natives