Mid-January historically coldest time of the year in Richmond

But this year, temperatures will be mild during what is usually the coldest part of the year

Mid-January historically coldest time of the year in Richmond
The coldest weather of the year historically happens in mid-January in Central Virginia. (Source: WWBT)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Mid-January is historically the coldest part of the winter season in Richmond, even though our darkest days of the year are already behind us.

The days of the year with the least daylight happen at the Winter Solstice/start of winter around December 21. The days begin getting longer again during the final days of December into January.

The coldest weather of winter lags the shortest days of the year by several weeks. This delayed cool down is primarily caused by the fact the Northern Hemisphere is mainly covered in water. Water cools down and warms up more slowly than air, so it takes several weeks for the water to warm up from the longer daylight length/higher sun angle in January. Areas closer to large bodies of water (such as oceans) generally stay cooler for longer in the winter and into spring.

The average high temperature in Richmond for each day through January 21 is 47 degrees, and the average low temperature is 28 degrees. Those average high temperatures get warmer beginning January 22 and the average low increases starting on January 26.

The coldest weather of the year in Richmond typically happens in mid-January, based on historical averages.
The coldest weather of the year in Richmond typically happens in mid-January, based on historical averages. (Source: National Weather Service Wakefield)

By the time spring begins on March 20, the average high temperature climbs up to 61 degrees, and the average low temperature rises to 38 degrees.

But at least in 2021, mid-January will likely not end up being the coldest time of the year in Central Virginia. The forecast high temperatures over the next several days will climb into the mid 50s, and with plenty of sun, it will actually feel nice outside. There are no signs of bitterly cold air in the forecast for the next two weeks.

The next several days will be warmer than average for mid-January with high temperatures climbing into the 50s.
The next several days will be warmer than average for mid-January with high temperatures climbing into the 50s. (Source: WWBT)

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