January wins for warmth

Lisa Moore

On Feb. 2, Mitch Becker, senior chemistry major, walked past the bus stop on Summit Street wearing only a short-sleeved shirt. Since temperatures had been in the low 50s, many students were seen not wearing jackets. STEPHANIE J. SMITH | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

January 2006 is on record for being the second warmest January.

Most days, students walked around campus in light jackets and drove around with their windows rolled down.

The average temperature last month was 37.9 degrees, said Gary Garnet, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at Cleveland National Weather Service. The warmest January on record was in 1932, with an average temperature of 38.6 degrees. Averages include the highs and the lows for each day throughout the month.

The northern hemisphere was in an unusual pattern from late December until the end of January, causing the warm weather to remain.

“It wouldn’t be unusual for that to happen for three or four days, but it stayed that way for about five weeks,” geography professor Thomas Schmidlin said.

The warm weather was a nice break from the cold weather Kent State students are used to during the winter months.

“I enjoyed being able to walk to the rec (Student Wellness and Recreation Center) and not having to wait in line for a bus,” freshman finance major Jodi Watts said. “It was nice being able to walk and not freeze the whole way.”

While Kent experienced unusual warmth in January, Alaska got hit with cold air, experiencing a cooler than usual January.

What happened for that five-week period is the core of the cold air shifted to the eastern hemisphere, causing the mainland United States to experience a warmer than usual January, and Alaska to experience a colder than usual one, Schmidlin said.

“When it was near 50 degrees here,” Schmidlin said, “it was near 50 degrees below zero in Fairbanks, Alaska.”

Not all students felt the same about an usually warm January.

“I like to ski and I couldn’t go the whole month I was home because there wasn’t enough snow,” said Alexis Derbin, sophomore middle childhood education major. “I got outside more, but not doing the things I wanted.”

Schmidlin said two weeks is about as far as meteorologists can predict general weather trends.

Schmidlin advises people to be prepared for any type of weather any time of year.

Contact news correspondent Lisa Moore at [email protected].