Story at a glance

  • Temperatures were up to 30 degrees above average in much of the country.
  • The weird weather is related to a series of storms in the south and the jet stream.
  • It was likely not a “January Thaw,” experts say.

If you thought it's been unseasonably warm this January, you weren’t imagining things.

A heat wave covered much of the East Coast of the United States during the weekend of Jan. 11 to 12, with temperatures skyrocketing as much as 30 degrees above average, according to reports.

The Washington region saw temperatures hovering around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was 72 degrees in Buffalo, N.Y. and 74 degrees in Boston, more than 40 degrees above the average for January.

The heat wave also hit Charleston, W.Va., where temperatures climbed to 80 degrees, with 72 degrees in Columbus, Ohio, and 60 degrees in Montpelier, Vt.

According to The Washington Post, the heat wave stemmed from a series of fatal storms that hit Louisiana and Texas.

Some reports recalled the weather anomaly known as “January Thaw” and cited it as a plausible cause of the springtime temperatures. A January Thaw describes a brief spell of warm temperatures, primarily around the Midwest and Northeast, where this latest heatwave hit.

Speaking with The New York Times, however, Jay Engle, a National Weather Service meteorologist, dispelled beliefs that this could be a January Thaw.

“In order to thaw, you have to have frozen in the first place,” he said.

Moreover, a January Thaws usually occurs Jan. 20 to 22, according to the Weather Channel.

Published on Jan 13, 2020