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January on track to be near top 10 coldest, with most single-digit lows in 32 years

This month's incessant cold outbreaks are expected to make it one of the top 10 months of January on record here, or close to it, and we have already racked up the most single-digit lows for the month since 1982.

Temperatures have dropped below 10 degrees eight times so far this month at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and could do it once more early Thursday, according to forecasts.

Only five other months of January in Baltimore have seen at least as many days in the single-digits or colder, most recently when 10 such days were tallied in January 1982, according to the National Weather Service. There were eight days with lows in the single digits or colder at BWI in January 1981 and nine in January 1961.

There were also nine days with lows in the single digits or colder in January 1912 and eight days in January 1893, at the U.S. Customs House in Baltimore, the city's point of record before it was moved to BWI in 1952.

Compared to the average temperature, that rarity is perhaps a better illustration of how anomalous this month's cold has felt to Baltimoreans. Temperatures rose above normal around the middle of this month, in between two frigid cold outbreaks, keeping the average from record-breaking territory.

If temperatures stay close to forecasts, the monthly average temperature of about 27.5 degrees will rank somewhere around Baltimore's tenth-coldest January on record and the coldest since 1994, or perhaps 2004.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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