Warmer than average temperatures concern some in Lewis County

Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 6:33 PM EST
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - According to The Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University, temperatures in Lowville never went below zero in January. The average was 27.1 degrees, nearly 10 degrees above the historical average (17.3 degrees).

“It’s a blessing that it’s been warmer so people don’t have the high gas bills for heating,” said Melissa Bailey, Lewis County resident.

Aside from heating, Bailey has mixed opinions, especially since she works as a snowmobile guide.

“A lot of our local businesses are suffering because basically our economy here in Lewis County does drive recreation,” she said.

Another resident tells us the warmer weather has made her a bit nervous, stoking her fears of changing weather patterns.

“It’s coming. It’s definitely coming. We’re just going to have to adapt the best we can until we can’t anymore I guess,” said Victoria Hill.

The Lewis County Highway Department says warmer weather like what we saw in January is a bit of a double-edged sword since it can make things pretty unpredictable.

“Everybody thinks that without the snow and the warmer weather that we’d be looking for things to do right now. It’s actually a bit scarier in our world,” said Tim Hunt, county highway superintendent.

Hunt tells us roads take damage when temperatures hover around 32 from rapid freezing and thawing. Also, black ice makes life a lot harder for plows.

“Black ice is the most dangerous thing for all of us both for the traveling public and even for our plow trucks. If we get out there and the rain comes down, hits that cold pavement and freezes, we’re going to lose a truck, we’re going to have somebody get hurt,” he said.

It’s only mid-February and we know north country winters in March can be some of the worst.