The cold front that swept through Baker County Tuesday wasn’t particularly cold by January standards but it might be just chilly enough to preserve a 65-year-old record.
It’ll be close either way.
With one day left in the month, the average high temperature at the Baker City Airport was 43 degrees. The warmest January on record is 1953, when the average high was 42.9.
Whether 2018 will break the record comes down to a specific number — 43.
If the temperature rises to 43 or above today at the airport, January’s average high will top 42.9.
If today’s high is 40, 41 or 42, then January’s average will be 42.9 — tied with 1953.
If the temperature stays below 40, this January will rank as the second-mildest.
The National Weather Service, for what it’s worth, forecasts a high today of 38 at the airport.
Whatever happens today, this January is pretty much the opposite of its immediate predecessor.
Last January, when snow lay more than 2 feet deep in Baker City and the temperature dipped below zero on 14 of the 31 days, the average high at the airport was 22.7 degrees — the third-coldest on record.
This January will also likely rank in the top two or three warmest based on two other statistics — average low temperature, and average overall temperature (including both daily highs and lows).
The average low will probably be 26.5 degrees. That ranks as the third-warmest, behind 1953 (29.6-degree average low) and 2010 (27.7).
This January’s average temperature will be about 34.7 degrees. Th at’s the second-warmest on record, trailing only 1953, when the average temperature was 36.2.