Record warm temperatures set
The calendar says January but you would never know it from the weather.
Sunday’s high of 64 degrees in Columbus was the warmest on record by six degrees. Monday’s high of 60 degrees was the second warmest Jan. 26 on record.
The normal highs on those two days is 40 degrees, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Tuesday’s high of 58 degrees was 18 degrees above normal.
But that was nothing compared to Rapelje, which saw a near summer-like 71 degrees on Monday, smashing the old record of 57 degrees.
Things began to warm up unseasonably last Friday when the mercury hit 49 degrees, followed by 53 on Saturday. Snow piles and icy streets and parking lots were all but gone in Columbus by Monday morning.
The highs in Rapelje from Jan. 23 through Jan. 27 were 49, 56, 63, 71 and 63 degrees. The normal high for each of those days is 39 degrees.
And at Mystic Lake, highs for those same days were 45, 44, 54, 58 and 56 -- markedly above the normal high of 36 degrees on each of those days, according to the NWS.
The warm weather will soon be gone.
“Enjoy the warmth while we have it,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tom Frieders, who added that cooler weather is on the way that will bring temperatures closer to normal by this weekend. The high in Columbus Saturday is forecast at 37 degrees with a 50 percent chance of snow and a low of 16.
The cold front is expected to bring temperatures in the 20s and the threat of accumulating snow on Saturday and Sunday, according to a hazardous weather outlook issued by the NWS. Below normal temperatures could stretch into next week.
As of Wednesday, January snowfall in Columbus was nearly double the normal amount, officially at 10 inches. Mystic Lake’s snowfall total thus far is 16.5 inches, which is two inches above normal. And in Rapelje, the 9.3 inches of snowfall this month is 2.7 inches above normal, according to the NWS.