MONDAY JANUARY 29 - WHEN IS THE COLDEST WEEK OF WINTER?


On a previous Franklin Fact, I mentioned that on average, temperatures bottom out in late January. But thats just the average. If we look back over the last 100 winters and ask "What was the coldest week of each winter?", we can create a chart like this one that holds a few surprises.

Along the bottom of the chart are the winter months broken up into weeks. The height of the bar above each week is proportional to the number of times that particular week was the coldest of the winter. The peak of the graph occurs during the third week of January. This means that over the last 100 years, that week has been the coldest week of the winter the most often - that's no surprise. But notice that there have been a couple winters when the coldest week came as early as the first week of December, while there have also been a few winters when the coldest weather came as late as the first week of March. This is really just another way to show how variable our weather can be from one winter to the next.

For the record, the coldest week so far this winter was the last week of December, when the average temperature was a frosty 24oF.

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