National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Taylor says this month doesnt even rank among the 15 coldest Januarys for Charlotte.
Dont tell that to the thousands of area residents whose cars didnt start or whose home water pipes burst on frigid mornings.
It has been a busy, busy month, said Angie Cliff of Jim Dickerson Plumbing and Electrical.
While the monthly temperature in Charlotte is only a few degrees below average, in many ways, this is turning out to be a very frigid January.
Temperatures never made it out of the 20s Friday in Charlotte, climbing only to 28. Meteorologists say it could happen one or two days again next week. And Friday started with a low of 10 degrees.
The number of frigid days those with highs in the 20s and 30s, or lows of 20 degrees or colder is the highest this January in four years. The last time it was this cold was January 2010, during one of the northern hemispheres snowiest and coldest winters in decades. And the number of frigid days likely will grow.
Well be looking at another shot of very cold air next week, said Taylor, who works at the Weather Services office in Greer, S.C.
The Carolinas, except for the mountains, have escaped snowfall this month because the arctic air masses have been so strong that they pushed storm systems far south of the area. For example, a system that brought snow and ice Friday to Texas and Louisiana is predicted to move across the northern Gulf of Mexico and then out to sea. The same thing may happen Tuesday.
Instead, weve dealt with a number of cold, dry days. A string of warm days around the middle of the month is the reason that Charlottes overall average temperature this January is not among the coldest ever.
Twice this month, Charlottes daily high never made it to 30 degrees. That hasnt happened in at least 10 years. And the number of mornings with lows of 20 degrees or colder seven is the largest since 2010. The coldest was a record-setting 6-degree low on Jan. 7.
We usually get about 20 service calls a day, Cliff said. Back during that first cold snap (Jan. 7), we had about 70. Burst pipes and frozen pipes thats about all we were handling then.
Forecasters say highs will be in the mid 40s Sunday. Yet even that temperature is below the average high at this time of year, which is 51 degrees.
Dont complain, though. The next cold front is predicted to arrive sometime Monday. High temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday may not escape the 20s again, with morning lows in the teens.
All is not lost. Taylor has good news.
The monthly outlook calls for a chance of above-average temperatures in February, he said.
Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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