January 2024 ended up as the seventh warmest in the last 57 years that records have been kept at the farm in Ormstown. The average temperature settled at -4.8 degrees Celsius, almost four degrees above the normal of -8.6 C. One of the trends we’re keeping an eye on is the increasing tendency of average temperatures to be warmer at night than during the day. For example, on January 26 and 27, the nighttime low was over two degrees warmer than the historic daytime high. Even though the daytime high was 4 C higher than normal, the night-time low was 16 C higher than normal!
Over the last year, higher-than-normal average temperatures were due to an increase in the nighttime lows for 60 per cent of the time. This trend will be evident well into February as well, as the forecast calls for warmer than normal nights. But all will be back to “winter” normal for the third week of February, as average temperatures both during the day and the night will plunge well below normal.
January received precipitation during each week for a total precipitation of 72 millimetres, which is slightly below normal. There were 49 centimetres of snow, which melted down to 46 mm of water, and 26 mm of rain and freezing rain.
January was also marked by a lot of cloud cover. The weather service in Burlington, Vermont, reported that the sky was covered by clouds 80 per cent of the time – the highest percentage of cloud cover since they started keeping records in 1951. There was also a rainbow earlier in the month, an unusual winter sighting.
The first few days of February started where January left off: unseasonably warm. The average temperature was -1.7 C while the normal for the month is -8.0 C. There was no precipitation to report, which suited the farmers working in their sugar bushes getting ready for the approaching maple season.