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Heating Degree Days, Average vs. 2007-2017

The months of January and February have been somewhat below normal for the number of Heating Degree Days this year. That said, this frigid month of March may mean that we get closer to the climate normals for Albany as the year progresses.

Data Source: Monthly Heating Degree Days, NYSERDA.

Difference Between Record High and Normal High

Last Friday the mercury pushed up to 74 degrees, the warmest temperature ever recorded during meteorological winter in Albany. With normal high temperatures for that day around 37 degrees, that day was 37 degrees above normal. I remarked on Friday that if we had days that were 37 degrees above normal in the hottest period of summer, we would have reached 120 degrees. But it almost never reaches above 100 degrees in Albany -- at least not since the 1950s.

The reason is we have hot days in summer, but there isn't that kind of energy in the atmosphere to push record breaking heat more then 10-15 degrees above normal in summer. In contrast, in the winter, it's not unusual to have days 15-25 degrees above normal, and days that are 25-40 degrees above normal are not unheard of during the winter. The greatest difference in record high minus normal high occurred on January 13, 2007, when it reached 71 degrees on a day when the normal high is 30 degrees. That's a 41 degree difference.

The formula used to calculate this chart is highest recorded temperature minus average high temperature for the day, based on records collected at the Albany International Airport by NOAA.