If you've noticed temperatures have been a bit warmer lately - especially after the deep freeze that we had earlier in the month - you're experiencing what is known as the "January Thaw". This weather phenomenon is the opposite of Indian Summer. It's considered a signularity or annual weather episode that reoccurs at about the same time every year. The causes of this change is temperature are connection with a more westerly or southwestly atmospheric circulation. The stronger than normal westerlies tend to confine Arctic air northward and encourage the intrusion of warmer air from the Gulf of Mexico. Meteorologists have differing opinions on why these warmer than normal temperatures occur during late January. Some relate to sunspot activity while other researchers claim it's a large-scale readjustment of the atmopshere from an early Winter to a late Winter stage.
Fox 6 Chief Meteorologist