January ends as 4th-warmest on record

It was a warm January across the Lowcountry. Two dozen days featured above average highs in Charleston and five of those were record highs. Meanwhile 25 days have featured above average lows. Our average lows have been 37-38 degrees while our average highs were 59-60 degrees.

In fact, in Charleston, it was the 4th-warmest January on record since 1938!

For most of the country, the middle and end of the month is the coldest time of the year. For us, that time period is January 11-15th. During that time, we had above average temperatures and set two record highs.

We aren’t the only ones experiencing less extreme cold…it is on the decline for most as the world warms from more greenhouse gases due to the burning of fossil fuels.

Less cold temperatures spell out a shorter winter. This may seem like a good thing especially for those that don’t like the colder weather, but there are negative impacts. The warmer temperatures impact recreation, farming, and the environment.

Here in the Lowcountry, the warming winter temperatures could mean more disease-carrying insects, such as mosquitoes and ticks. It could affect crops like fruit trees and could ultimately lead to smaller yields. Another negative impact is increasing pollen counts, which is bad news for allergy sufferers.

In colder climates, impacts would be felt in winter-based recreational activities, like skiing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling, which would become less prevalent. Also declining snow packs lead to lower reservoir levels which mean less water for irrigation of crops.

This article is an entry in More than Meteorology, a weather blog written by certified broadcast meteorologist Sonya Stevens. To view more More than Meteorology blog entries, click here.

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