Cold weather context

albany observed temps January 2013 through 1-23

Though it's been a bit nippy lately, this January hasn't been that cold.

Breaking: it's cold out there. The highs for both Wednesday and Thursday are forecasted to be in the teens, and the lows sub-zero.

So that got us thinking about some historical context, and the coldest days on record...

All numbers from the National Weather Service. All temperatures Fahrenheit.

Zero degree days
The Albany area averages about 10 days per winter where the temp hits zero (average for years 1874-2010). The winter with the most zero degree days: 1874-1875, with 32.

Cold waves
The NWS defines a "cold wave" as "3 or more consecutive days with minimum temperatures of zero degrees or less." The longest cold wave on record here: 15 days, from January into February 1961.

Deep freezes
The NWS defines a "deep freeze" as "10 or more consecutive days with maximum temperatures of 32 degrees or less." The longest deep freeze on record here: 36 days, from January into February 1945.

Coldest winter
The coldest winter on record in Albany: 1867-1868, at 17.3 degrees. (Records span 1820-July 2012.)

Coldest temperature
The coldest temperature on record in the Albany area is -28, on January 19, 1971. (Record spans 1874-2013.)

Coldest high temperature
The lowest high temperature on record in Albany (the day in which the high temp for the entire day was the lowest): -8, on February 15, 1943 and December 20, 1942. (Record spans 1874-2013.)

Typical coldest days of the year
The dates January 8-25 have the coldest "normal" average temperature: 22 degrees. If you narrow those dates to only include the days with the lowest normal low (14 degrees) and lowest normal high (30), the span is January 10-January 22. (Normals from 1981-2010.)

Earlier on AOA:
+ 2012 was the warmest year on record in Albany
+ The first, last, most, and least snow

chart: National Weather Service


So when your parents or grandparents tell you tales of "This is nothing, in my day, it was so cold...." they aren't lying.

"The coldest winter on record in Albany: 1867-1877"...not only very cold but very long as well...

Editors: Fixed. Thanks.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Stuff to do this weekend

Welcome to the holiday season in the Capital Region -- when there are more things to do than you can shake a peppermint stick at.... (more)

Happy Thanksgiving!

We wish you a happy Thanksgiving. (We hope it involves pie.) Thank you for being a part of AOA this year.... (more)

"A day of Prayer and Thanksgiving in this State"

Until 1863 "days of Thanksgiving" were irregularly observed holidays in the United States. That's when Abraham Lincoln -- at the urging of Sarah Josepha Hale,... (more)

What's up in the Neighborhood

Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Bob & Ron's, local icons, a choice facing Albany, close calls,... (more)

"I think it feels like Thanksgiving."

Stripping is labor -- both physical and emotional. So, if you're a stripper working on Thanksgiving, do you get time-and-a-half and 1.5x tips? Helping to... (more)

Recent Comments

Needs more monorail.

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 1 comment, most recently from RH

Happy Thanksgiving!

...has 1 comment, most recently from mg

They came from the Capital Region

...has 84 comments, most recently from Brad J

Another view of the ESP that didn't quite happen

...has 5 comments, most recently from Ann

Crepes at The French Press Cafe and Creperie

...has 6 comments, most recently from BS