Wimpy January, a Look Back

A large tree in front of Tom Steele’s house on Accabonac Road in East Hampton topped during the snowstorm, blocking the road for several days.

    A week and a half ago as he wrote his monthly weather report for January, Richard G. Hendrickson was asking, “Where’s the snow?” The answer arrived on Friday and Saturday.
    January was a “windy and cold month, but little snow or severe gale winds as we have had in years past,” wrote Mr. Hendrickson, the United States Cooperative weather observer in Bridgehampton. “This is a part of the cycle we are having now that is called global warming. In this cycle, which may last 10 or more years, there will be a very mild year or two, as we are having now.” Had there been such weather in days of yore, it wouldn’t have been possible “to fill the large icehouses like there were at each and every village with the glacial-made freshwater pond ice.”
    It was in the 50s on five days last month, with a high of 56 coming on Jan. 31. The low temperature was 6 degrees on the night of Jan. 24, “the only night in January that the temperature was in the single figure,” Mr. Hendrickson said. The thermometer dropped to freezing or lower on 21 nights in January, but there was measurable snow on only two days. The heaviest was 1.2 inches on Jan. 21; .1 inch more fell on the 29th. The total rain and melted snow for the month was .95 inches, “a light amount for a January month,” according to Mr. Hendrickson.
    There were few days last month when the northwest wind blew 40 miles per hour or more. Winds this winter have generally blown from the northwest, except on the rainy or snowy days, the weather observer said.
    He recorded 15 clear days, 3 partly cloudy, and 13 cloudy days in January.
    In addition to the already heavier snowfall that February has brought, Mr. Hendrickson predicts windier days, lower temperatures, and more opportunities “for skating on the freshwater ponds, plus sledding on the hill.”