Bridgeport experienced its warmest January on record this year

Connecticut and the rest of the Northeast experienced an exceptionally mild January, with 10 key climate locations in the region breaking average temperature records, the NRCC reported. Bridgeport’s average January temperature surpassed the 2017 record, reaching 39.9 degrees. This is the highest average temperature for the month since the station began keeping records in 1948, according to the National Weather Service. January was also the snowiest for the city, with hardly any snow accumulating.

Hartford experienced its third warmest January since records began in 1905, according to the NWS. The station recorded an average of 36.6 degrees, 9.5 degrees above the January normal. Hartford’s average snowfall was 11.9 inches below normal. Despite the lack of snowfall, both cities recorded their 10th wettest January to date, with over five inches of precipitation.

Stations like Newark, New Jersey; Worcester, Massachusetts; Central Park, New York; Dulles Airport, Virginia; Allentown, Pennsylvania. and Portland, Maine, also broke records for average temperatures in January.

The news comes as the region prepares for a rapid Arctic blast that will bring negative temperatures Friday through Saturday afternoon.

Why was January so warm?

The jet stream over the Pacific Ocean brought heavy rains and mild air to the east coast of California. The configuration of the jet stream included cold air in Canada and the upper Midwest, said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist at the NWS Boston/Norton office.

Climate change is also leading to higher average temperatures. NOAA normal temperatures, which are calculated based on the most recent 30-year period, rose in Connecticut and most of the country, and winter is the fastest warming season in the Northeast, according to Climate Central.

February is expected to be dangerously cold

After a mild January, it turns bitterly cold in early February. Later this week, an arctic cold front will bring some of the state’s coldest temperatures in years, the NWS said. Temperatures will drop into the teens or below on Thursday night, and wind chills will push temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees before the cold front pulls out on Saturday.

Strong winds of between 30 and 40mph could cause power outages in the north on Friday night. Wind chill advisories were issued for the southern counties of Connecticut from Friday evening through Saturday morning, and the state plans to activate a Severe Cold Weather Protocol from Thursday noon through Sunday noon. Connecticut Water issued a frozen pipe warning for Friday night into Saturday.

Temperatures are expected to rise back above normal on Sunday, the NWS said.

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