January's spring-like warmth kicks off the growing season early in parts of the US

Chaffin Mitchell

Although it's January, you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at a thermometer. Many areas across the eastern U.S. have been experiencing temperatures typically seen during March and April.

Temperatures are typically at their lowest during this time of year in the United States when the days are at their shortest; however, the region has seen an increase in temperatures of 30 to 35 degrees above average.

According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert, the warmth came from a strong high pressure that kept the flow over the area out of the south with few storms that brought cold air in from the north and west, mainly Canada.

According to Travis, areas from Texas and Florida Gulf Coasts to the Great Lakes and the Northeast have been running noticeably warmer than normal so far in January.

This springlike warmth has even tricked some plants into thinking it is time to sprout with early budbreak seen in many locations.

"Usually the start of the growing season is defined by the estimated last frost date in a region. With spring-like warmth across much of the south and east, there have been fewer frosts which have allowed plants to think it's safe to emerge," AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Travis said.

A seedling sprouts in a field. Image via Getty Images/stevanovicigor

"The start to the average start to the growing season is either in March or the first half of April from central Texas to southern Kansas, all the way east to the Florida Panhandle and up to eastern Virginia," Travis said.

"Cities from Houston to Atlanta to Chicago to Boston have all been running 5-10 degrees F above normal through Jan. 24," Travis said.

Temperatures have soared as high as the 60s to the low 70s across the region.

Buffalo, New York, has been roughly 8.8 degrees higher than usual during the month of January, while Boston, Massachusetts, has been about 8.9 degrees higher than average.


Boston experienced record highs in the 70s on consecutive January days for the first time since record-keeping began in 1872.

"Temperatures this high are more characteristic of the normal temperatures for March, or even April," Travis said.

AccuWeather meteorologists expect near to slightly above normal temperatures to reign across the region through the end of January.

However, people enjoying these nice temperatures across the East shouldn't get used to the unusually warm weather for too long.

AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok forecasts abnormally warm air is not expected to hold out all the way into spring.

"It will be a rather slow transition to spring in March for the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Northeast, with lingering snow, chilly air and more rain to the south," Pastelok said.

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