Dr. David M. Schultz

National Severe Storms Laboratory


January Thaw

I am pursuing an interesting sidelight that I began working on at SUNY with Greg Hakim. We aim to examine the January Thaw, a staple of weather folklore which purports a warming in the New England area around 23-25 January during most years. Our goal is to first document the existence of the January Thaw, and if it exists, to understand its characteristics and dynamics.

The January Thaw at Albany, NY based on 40 years of daily maximum and minimum temperature data: Note the 6 degree F rise in temperature during late January.

A collaboration with Chris Godfrey and Dan Wilks led to the paper published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society entitled Is the January Thaw a Statistical Phantom?

Godfrey, C. M., D. S. Wilks, and D. M. Schultz, 2002: Is the January Thaw a statistical phantom? Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 83, 53-62. [AMS] [PDF] [HTML]

Another research project I was involved in was looking for deviations in the annual cycle with Brian Mapes. This work led to the following submission.

Mapes, B. E., N. Buenning, I.-S. Kang, G. N. Kiladis, D. M. Schultz, and K. M. Weickmann, 2004: Strides, steps and stumbles in the march of the seasons. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., submitted. [Abstract] [PDF]

Other January Thaw Links:

Penn State January Thaw Exercise

Weather Singularities and the January Thaw by Zane Stephens

USA Today Weather Page on the January Thaw based on Cornell University Press Release

The January Thaw: NASA GSFC

Painting by Lawren S. Harris: January Thaw, Edge of Town

The Weather Almanac discusses the January Thaw (January 2002)

Singularities in Alaska

If you have any further questions about the research discussed here, or desire a manuscript, please feel free to write to me: david.schultz@noaa.gov.

Return to David Schultz's homepage.

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