Author: Mary Knapp

A singularity is a weather event that happens on or near a particular date more frequently than would occur by chance. One of the most welcome singularities is the January thaw. The January thaw was first noted in New England and occurs around the 21st of January. Daily temperature averages at Boston, calculated from 1873 to 1952 show a well-marked temperature peak between January 20th and January 23rd. The same peak occurs in the daily temperatures in New York City and Washington, DC. Statistical tests show it is very likely that this is a true singularity because the January thaw is associated with the frequent occurrence of southerly winds on these dates. It’s a little tougher to isolate similar singularities in our area since southerly winds are a big component of our weather. But a late January warm up is a regular feature in Kansas climate, too.

Melting snow (public domain)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library