That is the local temperature anomaly for Boise, Idaho for the entire month of January in 2013. It is by far the coldest month I have experienced since the early 1990’s and that was in a different place that was much, much colder than the January I just experienced. Of course a low anomaly doesn’t really tell the story of just how cold it was this past month. This of course underlines one of my endless gripes about temperature anomaly. It really doesn’t tell the story of what the climate is really doing.
Boise experienced the following temperatures in the month of January.
Average Mean Temperature / Actual Mean Average Temperature: -0.38 °C / -6.37 °C
Average High Temperature / Actual High Average Temperature: 3.24 °C / -2.35 °C
Average Low Temperature / Actual Low Average Temperature: -4.03 °C / -11.11 °C
So the average high temperature in the month of January was colder than the normal monthly temperature. Certainly a cold month means little in the scale of climate, but it does say a lot about how variable climate can be over the course of a month. It was also amusing to be experiencing such a brutally cold winter while hearing about how warm the winter was. As always, what is covered in the news is never really a reflection of what is going on everywhere.
Fortunately the weather has calmed down a fair amount now and the temperatures are back into the normal range for this time of year. I am still waiting for word on what the global temperature anomaly for the month was, but I suspect it will be fairly close to normal, which means that on average the temperature of the Earth will come in at ~12.0 °C which is 4 °C colder than it will be in 6 months from now, but because of how they talk about temperature, I will be the only one pointing out the difference between the actual temperature and the anomaly temperature.
In the next week or so I will break down the year 2012 which was 40 times closer to average than Boise has been for the past month.