January Thaw: A Video

– Posted in: FAQ, Weather

What happens when the snow melts in the middle of winter? I made a brief video to show you:

Some roads and a few low bridges have flooded, forcing early school closings and rerouting traffic.

A thaw in January is common, but rain doesn’t always accompany it. Sometimes it is brilliantly sunny, inspiring snowball fights in shirt sleeves. A thaw like this is similar to what happens in mud season–except we know winter isn’t over yet. Despite warming up to over 50F today, it will drop below freezing tonight and there’s a chance of snow flurries.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

Comments on this entry are closed.

SleestaksRule January 1, 2013, 3:39 pm

Been through this. Ground is frozen and the water flows through our back yard like a river….and into the garage! Then it rains! ARRG!

Cindy, MCOK January 27, 2010, 11:30 am

Kathy, that looks like a miserable mess to deal with but ice must surely be worse. Hang in there, spring will come again!

Robin at Getting Grounded January 26, 2010, 1:35 pm

Kathy, I hope your plants can survive these extremes. Seems like everyone is having odd weather events, doesn’t it?

Kylee from Our Little Acre January 26, 2010, 12:46 pm

Same thing happens here. In fact, last year, after the ice storm that knocked power out for three days, the next week it got warmer, things melted, then it rained and THEN the power went out again, which had us bailing water from the basement until we could get a generator for the sump pump. UGH. UGH. UGH.

Barbara Bell January 26, 2010, 11:22 am

Yes, here in Syracuse Monday was 52 degrees F and downright balmy…this morning there were over 50 car accidents around the county due to ice. The melting yesterday eliminated all the accumulated salt on the roads and when the snow began falling early this morning, there was nothing to keep it from glazing over. Not a pretty sight!

Diana January 26, 2010, 7:07 am

Kathy – That looks just plain miserable. So sorry it’s making such a mess for you instead of remaining a beautiful blanket of white. It’s just a bizarre year for everyone.

zoy January 25, 2010, 8:43 pm

In Toronto, ON, it is the same. Slush is everywhere!

Annie in Austin January 25, 2010, 6:36 pm

Oh, Kathy – not one of those winters that make painters want to get out their brushes, is it? And instead of that stillness snow cover brings to the scene, you’ve got the worrisome sounds of rushing water. The hill may be slippery but at least the water can leave – we had a few winters with rain on level frozen ground in IL- instant lake!
Please be careful out there,

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Kathy Purdy January 25, 2010, 10:06 pm

We had some painterly moments thus far. But today wasn’t one of them. And yes, I’ll be careful. I have Yaktrax for when it ices over.

Dan Eskelson January 25, 2010, 6:33 pm

Surprisingly similar experience here in N. Idaho…snows melted rapidly over ground that had frozen very hard in early fall (below zero for week+). The absolutely strangest winter I’ve seen here in 30+ years.

Actually wishing for a big snowstorm! Say what?!? 😉

Carry On,

Dan Eskelson

Lynn January 25, 2010, 6:15 pm

It was truly bizarre to wake to green grass and brown fields. We still had some big snow piles that disappeared! I wish I’d had a video camera to catch the water in Six Mile Creek, which looks like a flash flood in Death Valley right now, along with all the running and standing water. Not looking forward to tomorrow morning, either!

Kathy Purdy January 25, 2010, 6:20 pm

So very different from your former home in the Southwest, isn’t it?

Mr. McGregor's Daughter January 25, 2010, 5:58 pm

My thoughts exactly. Yuck! Our thaw was very short lived, and now the snow is sticking to everything.