Recent cold snap shatters record


First Posted: 2/4/2009

How cold was it?
While temperature readings varied depending on which community was involved, the official low for Mount Airy on Jan. 18 was 1 degree above zero, according to a monthly breakdown of weather statistics from the citys F.G. Doggett Water Plant.
That reading, which occurred during a blast of arctic air that caused the mercury to plunge to single digits locally for about a three-day period in January, broke a record that had been set on Jan. 18, 1982. That mark was 2 degrees.
Due to the way weather records are kept in Mount Airy, the Jan. 18 period covered the time from 7 a.m. that day until 7 a.m. the next day. The same 1-degree reading also occurred on Jan. 17, but did not break a record locally for that date.
At the other end of the spectrum, the maximum reading for the month was 61 degrees, recorded on Jan. 24.
Overall, January was colder than normal. Temperatures averaged 33.9 degrees, compared to the usual figure for the month of 38.3 degrees. The average high last month was 45 degrees and the average low, 22.7.
The weather breakdown for January also showed that precipitation totals exceeded the monthly average. Water plant personnel measured 4.17 inches during January, compared to the usual monthly amount of 3.40 inches. The maximum to fall during a one-day period was 2.67 inches on Jan. 7, which represented the bulk of last months total.
Precipitation occurred on eight of Januarys 31 days, with no snow reported.
Weather records have been kept in Mount Airy since 1924.

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