January will end on a warmer note in Boston

Boston thaw
Sarah Coughlin of Dorchester practice her yoga routine on a dock on the Charles River Esplanade as chunks of ice float along the shore, on Jan. 12, 2017. –John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

Last weekend marked the midpoint of winter in terms of average temperature. Readings have been going steadily downward since the end of July and have now reached their annual minimum.  

This doesn’t mean we’re finished with subzero temperatures. But on average, temperatures will start to slowly rise for the rest of the winter. And NOAA is forecasting a slightly better chance of warmer-than-average weather during the month of February for most of the eastern seaboard.

A look at winter temperatures in Boston. —NOAA

It now looks like temperatures are going to be running above average for the rest of the month.  There will be a few cold days between now and Feb. 1, but the mean temperature will end up above the 30-year normal. In order for this to happen, any days below seasonal normals for the second half of January will need to be overshadowed by warmer ones.

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In the 10-day forecast, we can expect two spikes of warmer air ahead. The first brush with warmer temperatures comes with rainstorms later Monday and Tuesday.

Behind this system it does turn colder and it will feel more like January on Thursday and Friday.  The colder weather doesn’t last very long, however. Signs are pointing to more mild air to close out the month of January, along with the potential for more rain.

A look at this week’s temperature swings. —David Epstein

The reason for this pattern is jet stream flow that maintains a trough in the west and a ridge here in the east.  

Does this mean winter is over?  The answer is a resounding no. But that cold we experienced at the end of 2017 and the start of 2018 will likely to prove to be the coldest period by far of the entire winter. 

NOAA is giving a slightly better chance of a warmer than average February along the east coast. —NOAA
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