By Zachary Harmuth
Now that the first real snow of the winter has come and the first few days with temperatures well below freezing, with icy windshields and red faces that come along with it, it is easy to recall fondly those 90 degree days of August.
It is also temptoing to think about packing a suitcase and driving south, until people in bathing suits start passing by your window, evidence that, like an astronaut on a foreign planet detecting oxygen, it is safe to open your visor or roll down the window and let the air in.
Well, if that is your plan, then south is your best bet. That or west. The places in the country (except Hawaii) with the highest average January temperature over the years are the desert spanning the border of Arizona and California, and southern Florida.
As for Florida, a much closer drive, pretty much anywhere south of the city of Tampa has an average January temperature of more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Same goes for the desert aforementioned. Death Valley- the hottest place on earth- can reach up to 128 degrees Fahrenheit in January.
But if your figure you will just ride out the current cold spell huddled up indoors, it might warm you up a bit to think about how much colder it is in other parts of the country.
Excluding Alaska, you could be thankful that you do not live in northern Minnesota or North Dakota. There, average January temperatures range from a low of 0 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of 24 degrees.
The current lows this week in Williamson County- which was 1 degree Fahrenheit on Sunday night- thankfully are not anywhere near the average temperature for this time of year. Historically, in January, Tennessee has average in January a low of 48 degrees and a high of 64.
So, this current cold spell that is about 50 degrees colder than what is the normal average for this time of year- is an anomaly.
And, unless you have not already begun to refugee south, hold on just a while longer and things should get back to normal.
With any luck, temperatures should go back up in no time. If not, well, there is always Florida.