The weather legacy of January: temperature highs and lows

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One day it was 60 degrees -- the monthly high reached on Jan. 14. Ten days later, the temperature had dropped to 5, the month's low, according to the National Weather Service.

Indeed, the "rather large" temperature fluctuation at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma in a short time-span was a point of interest for the month, said Dan Hofmann, weather service meteorologist in Upton.

Despite an eight-day cold spell, Islip's monthly average temperature -- 33.1 degrees -- was 2.5 degrees above normal for the month, the weather service said. Yet, January 2012's average was higher still, at 36.2 degrees.

The month saw two record-breaking days -- Thursday, Jan. 31, with a high of 57, which broke 2012's record 55. And Sunday, Jan. 20, with a high of 56, beating out the previous record of 54 set in 2006.

Looking ahead to February, climate projections are on the fence, indicating an equal probability of temperatures being above, below or just at normal, Hofmann said.

But, looking at the average over February, March and April, "it looks more likely that temperatures will be above normal," said Peter Wichrowski, also a meteorologist in Upton.

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