A Mild January, But a Bit Snowier For Parts of New England

February 10, 2023 // Article by: Steven Weinstein

The new year brought mild conditions to much of the Northeast, and although there were colder and more seasonable stretches, they were often short lived. As such, while the month was a fairly active overall, it was one that was marked by below normal snowfall, especially for those along and south of the I-95 corridor. Despite the mild weather overall, there was wintry weather in portions of New England, particularly those in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. 

January started out very mild with high temperatures in the 50s and 60s and temperatures running 15 - 30 degrees above normal all across the Northeast. This included daily record highs in the 60s to even 70 degrees that were set on the 3rd and 4th in, especially in Atlantic City, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia. Additionally, many Northeast locations did not drop below the freezing mark during the entire first week of January. However, the beginning of the month was also quite wet with a plethora of storms traversing the Northeast. Perhaps most notable of which was a disturbance on the 6th where it was cold enough for a quick burst of snow to parts of New England with as much as 2-4" falling in portions of Northern MA and across NH. Then, another disturbance on morning of the 9th brought a thin swath of minor snow accumulations up to 1" across parts of PA, Northern NJ, CT, RI, and Southern MA. This was followed by a mixed system on the 12th and minor snow accumulations of around 1" across parts of CT, MA, and NH.

Large oceanic storm swirling off the East Coast on January 16th, 2023. Via College of Dupage Nexlab. 

The next event was a long duration coastal low pressure system which remained parked off the East Coast and continued to pivot over the open waters of the Atlantic from the 14th-16th. This initially brought snow showers and some spotty icing to portions of New England, with high pressure and generally quieter weather dominating across the rest of the Northeast. However, this same system rotated in steadier periods of moderate to even briefly heavier snowfall to parts of MA and NH later on the 15th, which continued into the 16th. Overall, as much as 2-4" of snow fell across these portions of New England during the timeframe from the 14th-16th, with the brunt of the accumulations occurring on the 15th-16th. As we entered into the latter part of the month, the above average temperatures persisted with highs and lows still generally running 5 - 15 degrees above average most days, but an active stretch of weather closed out the month.

While it was a rainmaker for most of the Northeast, a storm on the 19th and 20th produced a mix bag of precip farther north, with as much as 3-6"+ of dense snow and sleet falling across parts of Northern MA and into NH. Another disturbance then quickly approached on the 22nd, bringing a bit of snow, sleet, and even some freezing rain to parts of the interior Northeast before activity changed over to rain. Then, as colder air wrapped back in behind this system into the morning of the 23rd, activity ended as a quick thump of snow, with parts of Northeast PA, northern NJ, the Hudson Valley, CT, and RI in general seeing a quick 2-4" of snow. However, it was MA and southern NH that were again the winners, with moderate to heavy snow falling during the day and significant accumulations of 4-7"+.  On the 25th, another system brought 1-3" of snow for areas north of I-95 into portions of PA and northern NJ with lesser amounts across much of New England. However, heavy rainfall and gusty winds also accompanied the storm with a swath of 1-2"+ of rainfall falling across the I-95 corridor. Quieter and drier conditions then largely prevailed for the last week of the month, before rain changed over to a bit of overnight snow along a frontal boundary into the morning of the 31st with a coating to 1" falling across New England, northern NJ, and northeast PA.

Overall, despite the rather wintry finish to the month for parts of New England, the month of January finished mild. High and low temperatures finished 7-12 degrees above normal, which was mostly a testament to the many 50 and 60 degree temperature days that occurred throughout the month. Meanwhile, with regards to precipitation amounts, areas across the Mid-Atlantic finished the month 0.5-1.5" below normal, whereas areas across Northeast PA, NJ, and into New England generally ran 1-3"+ above their normal monthly precipitation for January.