Weather Talk: A few thaws during winter is the norm
A few days in the 30s this week has many people talking about this weather being unusual. But a stretch of thawing weather in winter is not only not rare, it is the norm. Checking the records back to 1880, there has been an average of 16 thawing days during the winter months: eight in December, four in January and six in February. There has been an average of five days of at least 40 degrees: two in December, one in January and two in February.
Using the most recent complete three decades, the average number of thawing winter days has swelled from 16 to 21 while the number of days of at least 40 has grown from five to six. The fewest number of thawing days in a winter is two back in the winter of 1978-79. The most is 47 in 2011-12. A winter season without any days in the 40s has happened just 16 times since 1881, most recently in 2009-10. The greatest number of days in the 40s in winter was 19 in 1999-2000.