'The January thaw'

thaw Usually starting this week, there's the beloved (except by skiers)   phenomenon known as the "January thaw,'' in which springlike temperatures, in the 50's, give us a touch of, well, spring fever in New England. This is actually substantiated by meteorological data. The January thaw used to occur on a fairly reliable basis, though it seems that we have missed some in the past few years as it has stayed frigid through the month.

After the usual January thaw, the temperature falls again for a week or two before starting its erratic ascent toward real spring. The January thaw may be transient but it's a nice reminder that comfort lies ahead, though snowdrifts may block the view for a while and fractures await us on icy sidewalks.