December, where y'at?
Have you noticed how warm it has been lately? At least that cold front gave us a few cooler days before returning to a warm Christmas. Normally our first freeze is around Thanksgiving, and as you can see we are overdue. Winter began as it always does on 21 December with the winter solstice.
In other words, our daytime hours will begin getting longer after the winter solstice. Those five o’clock sunsets grow old quickly. It is too dark, too early… Some of you may wonder how those poor souls in Alaska cope with months of darkness along the Arctic Circle.
Aside from Alaska, short-sleeved shirts and shorts for Christmas time sounds nice; however, colder temperatures surely add a great deal to the Christmas season aesthetic since snow is such a rarity here. Have no fear cold-weather fans, we still have January and February. Hopefully by then the pattern that is giving us these warm temperatures will subside.
By this point you may be wondering, “Have we ever gone a Louisiana winter without a freeze?” Despite Baton Rouge residing in such a warm and wet climate nearly year-round, we have not to not record a freeze at least once during our winter season. The latest first freeze ever confirmed at BTR Metro Airport occurred on January 5, 1972; however, there is one other date worth mentioning.
On March 3, 1932 another delayed “first freeze” took place at BTR Metro Airport. This date should come across as strikingly late for Louisiana’s colder part of the year; moreover, the instruments were newly installed at the time. There is a good chance those measurements were erroneous since the instruments likely had not been fully calibrated at the time.
If our current ridging pattern continues to bring unusually warm temperatures, then our current confirmed January record may be threatened. Only time will tell. For the time being, enjoy the pleasant days ahead and be ready if we are fortunate enough to have a cold spell grace us with an appearance next month.
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