WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2000 - RECENT MILD WINTERS


People often remark to me that we haven't had any really cold winters lately, and the numbers certainly support this.

Of our 20 coldest winters in the last century, none have occurred in the last ten years. On the other hand, if you look at our 20 warmest winters of the last 100 years, five of them occurred in the 1990s.

The last time the temperature officially went below zero around here was on this date in 1994, when the morning low fell to -5oF in Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE. On the same morning in Dover, the temperature reached -3oF.

Are these recent relatively mild winters a sign of some unnatural warming, or is this all just part of climate's natural fluctuations? That's a loaded question, for sure - and one I'll revisit on a future Franklin Fact.

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