GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

An Investigative Study of the January Thaw Phenomenon

An Investigative Study of the January Thaw Phenomenon


A broad investigation of the January thaw phenomenon, a period of unseasonable warmth, was conducted
using daily maximum temperatures recorded at New Brunswick, N.J. from 1858-1976. Student’s t-tests
comparing long period means of maximum temperature to values form a fitted ‘seasonal trend curve’ indicate
temperatures higher, on the 22nd-23rd, and lower, on the 29th, than seasonally expected. Binomial tests
verified these at the 5% level. A thaw index was derived. The relationship of thaw intensity to zonal indices
and mean monthly temperatures was investigated using contingency, correlation, and student’s test analyses.

Lanzante, John R.

Rutgers University

Publication Date:

Publication Place:
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Cook College, Department of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography

Rutgers University

Supplemental Information:
44 p., tables, graphs

Other Citation Details:
George H. Cook Honors Thesis written under the direction of Professor Robert P. Harnack.
Cook Scholar Papers are non-circulating and must be viewed at Rutgers University.

Type of Document:
Thesis – Undergraduate Honors

Document Location:
Chang Cook LD4751.25.G478, v.11, pt.2