You might have seen the headline on Philly.com this morning talking about it being the coldest stretch of weather in perhaps two years.
I shuddered...not because of the weather since it's not really cold out compared to historical averages or even compared to a year ago at this time. My shuddering was due to an article that was a bit of a stretch by missing the boat on cold impact, not necessarily duration of temperatures that are 'typical' for January.
First, the lowest low of January 2012 was 14 degrees, which happened a year ago tomorrow and not even mentioned in the article. Also, the article in Philly.com pointed out that there were never a stretch of nights as chilly last year. Well, Philadelphia had a stretch in January 2012 where nine nights in ten dropped below 30 degrees, broken only because of a storm system that moved through and brought one milder day in between. This stretch included five straight nights between January 18-22 where lows were in the teens or 20's. You can view the entirety of January 2012 (and its ugliness) with the graphic below.
We all know last winter was brutal for snow lovers and even for cold lovers...but there were cold moments in January of last year...such as five actual nights of lows in the teens. We're still waiting for our first low below 25 this winter. We might touch 25 again tonight but after tonight temperatures will slowly rebound over the next ten days or more.
It really should not be too troubling to do research on the level and duration of cold before trying to write an article to talk about typical January cold lasting up to several nights. Websites exist with treasure troves of climate information for Philadelphia. At minimum, I ask that research be put into articles before trying to pass off a seasonally cold airmass as coldest in two years when it really wasn't. Shouldn't be too tough to do, should it?