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Published February 03, 2014, 02:24 PM

January weather ‘unusual,’ but not record-breaking

Despite four blizzards and seemingly endless cold, January wasn’t a record-breaker.

By: Charley Haley, Grand Forks Herald

Despite four blizzards and seemingly endless cold, January wasn’t a record-breaker.

In fact, December was actually colder this winter.

But January was still “unusual,” said Bill Barrett, meteorologist technician at the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks.

“Don’t let them tell you that this is a normal winter,” Barrett said.

The days between Dec. 1 and Jan. 30 measured sixth coldest on record for that timeframe, he said.

The most recent December to January timeframe colder than this winter was from 2008 to 2009, at third coldest, he said. Temperatures were only colder than that in the 1970s and 1920s.

This January’s average temperature was 1.9 degrees, which is 5.5 degrees lower than normal, according to the weather service website. December’s average was 0.6 degrees, which is 11.6 degrees below normal.

Usually January is colder than December, Barrett said.

The other unusual part of January was the number of blizzards – four.

“That’s a healthy serving,” Barrett joked.

Every year is different, but the four blizzards in January – dubbed by the Herald as Bubba, Corene, Dillon and Era Bell – was a little more than what people are used to, Barrett said.

“Some winters, as you know, only get one or two blizzards,” he said.

But the blizzards in January were mainly ground blizzards, leaving the month’s snowfall at an “around normal” 15.9 inches, Barrett said.

There was about 22 inches of snow in December, which is above average, he said.

This winter’s extreme cold will likely continue into February, Barrett said.

According to the weather service website, today’s high is 4 degrees, with wind chill as low as minus 26.

Tonight’s low will be around minus 17, with wind chill as low as minus 31.

The high for Tuesday is minus four, and the low for Tuesday night is minus 20.

Wednesday’s high will be around minus 6, Thursday’s will the up to about 0 degrees, and Friday’s high will be near 7 degrees.

There are signs that the weather could possibly warm up around the middle or end of February, Barrett said.