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January 2018 vs. January 2019 - From brutal cold to spring-like warmth

January started off completely different this time last year

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ROANOKE, Va. – At this point last year, we were stuck in the freezer. Fast-forward to 2019, and the first week has been very mild. In fact, it's been the warmest start to January since 2007. Don't count on that lasting, though.

Sunday's weather was the polar opposite of January 6, 2018.

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Whereas it felt more like Green Bay in early January 2018, January 2019 has started with temperatures similar to that of San Francisco this time of year. 

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For many parts of the region, we haven't fallen below 32° since December 27. That looks to change by either Wednesday or Thursday morning of this week.

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So, why is it that it's been so mild so far this January? It all has to do with the jet stream. The jet stream is an area of strong wind at airplane level that typically separates colder air from warmer air. 

Because the jet stream has been so far north in the last one-to-two weeks, we've been unseasonably warm most days.

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Again, that will change this week, meaning that we'll get very cold. There's even the chance for snow next weekend. For more details on that, click here.


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