A trace of snow was reported for the fifth day in a row - the "snowiest" period in a month that had no measurable snowfall. Only January 1890 had less snow - 0.0". January 1933 was later joined by January 2008 as the only two Januarys with just a trace of snow.
The biggest snowfall of the winter began late last night and continued through early afternoon as a nor'easter moved up the coast. In total, 6.8" fell and winds gusted to 40 mph when snow was falling heaviest this morning. The temperature rose sharply from 25° around daybreak to 38° late in the late morning and dropped sharply a few hours later and was down to 20° by midnight. (New York got off relatively easy as upstate New York, eastern PA and the Delmarva region had more than a foot of snow.)
This was the fourth day in a row in which measurable snow fell. In the 1970-2018 period, this would happen just one other time (Jan. 28-31, 2007). The snow during these days was more of the "nuisance" variety, with just 0.2" falling today, 0.4" yesterday, 1.4" on 1/28 and 0.2" on 1/27. (In the winter of 2019, measurable snow fell on five consecutive days, from Feb. 28 thru March 4.)
This was the 15th straight day with above average temperatures. During this stretch temperatures were 10 degrees above normal.
For the fourth day in a row the high temperature soared into the 60s (62°, 60°, 69°, and 61° today). This stretch of days was 25 degrees milder than average, making it feel more like January in Dallas or Atlanta. It was also the ninth consecutive day in which the mean temperature was 10+ degrees above average.
With a high/low of 20°/13°, today was the coldest day of the winter.
Ferocious cold that descended upon the Midwest, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley over the past few days made its way east, ushered in by a snow squall mid-afternoon. Once the front passed, the temperature dropped from the low 30s to the single digits by 9:00 PM (and down to 2° by daybreak on the 31st). Howling winds produced sub-zero wind chills. The 0.4" of snow that fell during the 15-minute squall brought January's total snowfall to 1.1", keeping it from joining thirteen other Januarys that have had less than an inch of snow.