January Thaw

(Saturday, January 7, 2012, 3:36 p.m. EST, 40 degrees F)

In comparison to last week’s video, this week’s video looks like it’s in black and white! Although it looks colder, it isn’texactly the same temperature after dipping into the single digits mid-week. Today we stood on the bridge without gloves or hats and amazingly we were warm. The air was still and calm. Two kayakers paddled up to the beach on the glassy water just out of camera view. It felt more like April than January, and it seems Spring is just around the corner….a dangerous feeling in the middle of a Maine winter.
This could be what’s referred to in Maine as a “January Thaw,” except we have barely any snow on the ground. Most years in January three to four feet of snow banks line the streets. I’m not going to lie—I hope it remains a low-snow winter and we get an early start at gardening.

How’s winter in your neck of the woods? Ready for Spring?




  1. Ann says:

    I am so ready for spring that words fail me. It’s COLD here! (although it’s going to be 80 on Monday – WooHoo!).

  2. No, I’m not ready for spring. The last week has been unbearable hot for January. I want more cold. I’m not ready for warmth yet!

  3. Barb Riley says:

    We haven’t had any snow yet; the grass is still green, so I’m definitely not ready for Spring. It’s been a strange winter here—the first time in 3 years we didn’t have a white Christmas. Quite often it’s been in the 40’s & 50’s and sunny… so NOT normal for Chicago this time of year. It feels like we’re off the hook for winter (and yes, I know. those will be famous last words :D). You know how much I love winter and snow, but somehow I’ve come to enjoy the spring-like January, too.

  4. Honestly? It’s been really warm here. Much warmer than usual for this time of year. We’ve been hiking in tank tops and shorts. It’s lovely. I hope winter lasts a little longer…I’m not ready for spring!

  5. I’ve been enjoying our warm January. I know it won’t last, but I’m out in the garden every day right now and it feels great.

  6. We’ve had a WONDERFULLY mild summer, so far! In fact, two nights ago was a record January low for Perth. Sooo good. Last year was also the third wettest on record for Australia thanks to two Il Nina weather effects back-to-back (though Perth didn’t see a whole lot of that), and we were one of the few countries worldwide which saw a lower average temperature for 2011. I’m embracing the change; this is more like the Perth weather I remember from my childhood!


  7. Winter is warm here. I’m still cold, just slightly less than I possibly could be. I am ready for Spring because I have a feeling we are going to have a warm WET Spring with lots of thunder storms!!

  8. Ann, Cold is all relative I’m discovering this year…. when it’s 20 most years I’d just bundle up. This year? I can barely stand it below 40!! Still, 80 is too warm. Yes, I’m apparently NEVER happy 🙂 Glad I’ve found another longer for spring!

    Leah, I’ve heard tell of the heat wave from relatives in California. Yikes. What month is this? Hope you get some more cold! (and I get more warm!)

    Barb, Wow, no snow in Chicago-land either? Weird year. I’m thinking EXACTLY the same: off the hook for winter, dangerous thoughts! 😀 Too early, way too early for spring fever.

    Cynthia, Another vote for the longer winter! Soon we’ll have Groundhog’s Day to help us figure the whole thing out! 🙂
    (p.s. really, shorts and tank tops? In January!? Wow!)

    Shary, Gardening sounds GLORIOUS! I am very very envious! Hope you get lots more good days of warmth for your garden!

    Ashlee, How interesting that Perth has had such a different than usual summer as we have winter! I guess that’s Il Nina for you! Crazy weather patterns! How nice that you’re having a summer reminiscent of your childhood — sounds like a short story 🙂

    Sara, I love thunderstorms too…. do you get lots of hail or just rain? I used to love hailstorms when we lived in Colorado. Hope you get your continued relative warmth!

  9. My mom and dad, in Pennsylvania, are also embracing the warm spell, EXCEPT that they bought a brand new snow blower at the end of last year’s very snowy season. It has only been used once this year. Up until last week, they thought they might not even need to take it out of the box. Ha ha.

  10. Erika Marks says:

    I can’t believe the news I’m getting from my folks–how the mountains are without snow. Craziness! And yet, here in mild NC, I am thrilled for you all to not have to grapple with SUCH cold.

    I know snow has its moments, but with so many people struggling to find the resources to stay warm in the colder parts of our country, I’m so glad to hear this news of above-average temps, my friend!

  11. Melissa, Incredible! I’m a little surprised they had to use the snow blower last week — we were in PA this weekend and it was 50 degrees and not a snow bank in sight! What a crazy weather year! Sunny and cold today here, but I’ll take the sun!

  12. Erika, I know — it is super crazy that there’s no snow even in the mountains. However, cold again this morning! 18. Yikes. Still, mild temps mean low fuel costs and easier time for people struggling to heat homes, so true! No ice in Maine in January? Very very weird (and nice, too!).

  13. It’s unbelievable how mild this winter has been for us in TN, too! It seems I barely got to bust out my scarf selection before it became too hot to wear any of them. Who knows, though, Father Winter might surprise us yet. 🙂

  14. Jolina, Mild in TN too? Like you, I miss the scarf wearing… actually left mine behind at a movie theater and didn’t notice until another theater-goer alerted me!! In January! As you say, Father Winter may surprise us all — weather is one of the wonderful mysteries of life!

  15. It looks so still and calm Julia. The weather is so similar here. Springlike is the word. My osteospurnum are still flowering – from Summer through until now – unnatural! It is pleasant though, but I wonder if the snows will come. We do sometimes get them late – Feb/March time, so we may still. What are those birds in the background? Are they ducks?

  16. olivecollins says:

    Maine looks picturesque. I’m from Ireland so we could get 4 seasons in 1 day. This morning there was monsoon rains, midday was mild with sunshine, (freckle-potential sun), afternoon was hot, I could open the windows for 10 minutes, now it’s freezing with a clear sky. The only consistency with Irish weather is that there is no consistency. Beautiful video, keep them coming.

  17. Abi, So interesting that it’s springlike there! We do have cold again, but still no snow and rain forecast later in the week. I know what you mean — winter’s not over and there will no doubt be more snow, we’ll see! I think the birds in the background are a probably gulls!

  18. Olive, Yes, there are definitely picturesque spots in Maine! I think Ireland must be very picturesque as well — from photos I’ve seen! I love the way you’ve described your weather consistency (or should I say inconsistency)…. beautiful! Thanks for the comment and the visit to my blog!

  19. Becca says:

    We haven’t had any snow here in Michigan, and that suits me fine. The grass is still nice and green, and everything is dry, which I especially appreciate with two little white dogs who can get very muddy.

    If winter could be like this every year, I wouldn’t mind it at all!

  20. Becca, I have to agree with you about lack of snow suiting me! I’m so surprised that in Michigan you’re snow free as well! I think of your neck of the woods as usually getting deluged — true?

  21. Jamie says:

    You are so right. It looks v. cold out there. Pretty…but kind of miserable to be outside. (This is coming from a complete wimp about the cold.) I went running in the middle of the day here and it was almost 70. That is super unusual. Good as always to see your beautiful little niche of the world.

  22. Jamie, As I feared, the cold weather has returned in force — it’s supposed to be in the single digits in a few days. BRRRRR. 70 sounds wonderful, and like you, I’d definitely be outside enjoying it! Can you garden year round? Amazing! Glad you enjoy my niche of the world!

  23. CMSmith says:

    I’m glad you posted about this. I’m a little bit worried. We’ve had such warm weather some of my perrenials are poking their heads out of the soil. And I saw buds on one of the neighbors’ trees. I hope this doesn’t mess up spring.

    Do you know?

    We’re supposed to get a cold snap tomorrow.

  24. Christine, Believe it or not, I googled the exact same question after seeing buds on our lilac bushes…. I’m a little worried too. Our garlic is already growing, too. According to what I read, some plants will be adversely affected but some will actually be helped by the mild winter… we’re supposed to get a big snowstorm in the next couple of days so I suppose the problem is temporarily suspended. Sigh. We’ll see, and maybe I’ll write a blog about it soon! 🙂

  25. Hoping to get our first dose of snow this weekend! Can’t really complain, as the winter so far has been sunny and dry–very un-Oregon like. But I’m looking forward to some snow.

  26. It seems when I’m good and sick of one season the next starts, so I’m not there yet. Would love some more snow though.

  27. Charlotte, We finally got snow today…. and it’s going to get super cold, single digits, this weekend! Although I know (like you) I shouldn’t complain, I keep wishing for warmer weather! Thanks for your comment and for your visit to my blog!

    Suzie, I wish you could be here right now for our snow today. It’s very cold but it looks beautiful. Still, I’m ready for Spring. I’m sick of winter, but I’ll try to channel your love for more snow!

    Ashlee, That video is amazing! MEH and I enjoyed watching it soooo much! Thanks for thinking of me and commenting with the link! That was so nice of you!

  28. Three to four feet?! Wow! Last year we got about 3 inches of snow in one day and all of Austin was freaking out. I cancelled meetings because I didn’t want to drive in that, and I wasn’t the only one!

    Do you think it’s possible that over time you get used to such cold winters? I would love to live up north at least once in my lifetime, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle the cold if Texas winters are already pushing it for me!

  29. Today the temperatures plummeted here, but they’re supposed to rebound a bit by Tuesday. I just fine with the mild winter we’re having. Think of all the writing time you’ll get to squeeze in instead of shoveling snow. 🙂

  30. Natalia, I think you could definitely get used to cold winters! I spent most of my child/teen years in California and tropical climates outside the US. But when we moved to first Colorado then Maine, I loved the change! You should give it a try! And let me know if you’re anywhere near Maine, I’ll come have coffee with you (when the roads aren’t icy, LOL).

    Jackie, I am more than fine with the mild winter, too! Writing time is pretty much guaranteed since it’s now too cold to go outside here too… and although we got some snow (you too?), it was a pretty low amount so shoveling wasn’t too much! Here’s to happy writing regardless of the weather! 🙂