Not just rain, 2018 notable for bitterly cold beginning

A spring-like start to 2019 - a big turn from exactly one year ago

FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Warmer Wednesday, and the trend will continue

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Our high temperature on this first day of the New Year hit 68 degrees in Richmond. Springtime was in the air. What a difference a year makes.

Take a look below at these numbers from the first seven days of 2018:

The bitterly cold temperatures were a harbinger of more wild weather extremes to be felt throughout the year. Minus 3 was the coldest reading for the month, and overall January 2018 featured an average low temperature of 24.5 degrees which was about 4 degrees below the long-term average. Also notable during that first week of January, Richmond got hit with 3 inches of snow (3rd-4th) that enhanced the deep freeze.

It’s easy to forget how cold last January was with so much other memorable weather we experienced last year. From snow and cold in January and March, bracketing a very warm February, Virginia was only in the early stages of a year that brought numerous extreme rainfall events, in addition to tornadoes, flooding and tropical systems.

As most everyone knows by now, 2018 was the 2nd wettest year on record for RVA, surpassed only by the 72.02″ year we had in 1889. Weather records for Richmond date back to the 1870s. Note also that for the calendar year we received nearly 21 inches of snow, which includes the 11.5″ we had just last month.

So far the early part of this new year looks less extreme, although more rain is on track this week. Here’s hoping 2019 brings a slower pace of weather wildness. We could all use a break.

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