“Buresh Blog”: Jan. warm spell ending.... Gaining daylight on the sunrise end!... Night skies

“Buresh Blog”: Jan. warm spell ending.... Gaining daylight on the sunrise end!... Night skies

Jacksonville, Fl. — The middle of January bordered on the ‘ridiculous’ when it comes to warm temps. As of the 14th, temps. were averaging nearly 10 degrees above average! Sunday, the 12th was especially noteworthy when the avg. temp. for the day of 76.5 degrees beat the record of 75.0 degrees on Jan. 7th, 1998 as the warmest avg. temp. for a January day ever recorded in Jacksonville going back to 1871! 12 of the first 14 days of the month have been above avg.

BUT a dose of reality is on the way. We’ll see a bit of a temp. dip late in the week but the week of the 20th will turn sharply colder.... at least for a while. Parts of especially inland NE Fl. & SE Ga. will likely see a freeze at least a couple of mornings.

The cold spell won’t end the pine/maple/elm pollen outbreak but will offer some short term relief.

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If you’re missing winter, well..... here’s a pic from Austin Hamilton in Chariton, Iowa:

January snow field in Iowa.
January snow field in Iowa.

Like longer days? We’ve hit the peak of our shortest days over the last several weeks & as of Jan. 15th, Jacksonville has started to gain daylight on the sunrise (not just the sunset) - 7:24am is a minute earlier than the first two weeks of the month/year. We’ll gain a minute or two of daylight each day the rest of the month which then accelerates through Feb./March & April.

Our Jan. & early Feb. night skies courtesy Sky & Telescope Magazine:

Jan. 20 (dawn): The waning crescent Moon, Mars, and Antares form a pretty triangle before sunrise.

Jan. 22 (dawn): A very thin lunar crescent rises in the southeast with Jupiter trailing it by around 6°.

Jan. 27 (evening): Some 6° separate Venus and the thin lunar crescent below it in the southwest.

Feb. 1 (dusk): The month opens with Venus blazing above the southwestern horizon.

Feb. 6 (dusk): Keep watch for Mercury to the lower right of Venus.

Feb. 10 (dusk): Mercury reaches a greatest eastern elongation (maximum apparent separation) from the Sun of 18°. It’s still more than 10° above the west-southwestern horizon 90 minutes after sunset.

Moon Phases

Last Quarter - January 17, 7:58 a.m. EST

New Moon - January 24, 4:42 p.m. EST