Logo   January in New England
Cold and probably snowy, with some days of brilliant sunshine. The January sales bring out the shoppers, and the long Martin Luther King Day weekend brings out the skiers.

New England ski lift



New Year's Eve & Day

New Year's Eve in New England is First Night, with elaborate celebrations in some cities and towns. More...

New Year's Day (January 1) is a holiday, and transportation services can be busy on December 31st and January 2nd.

After New Year's, the first two weeks of January are not a busy time in New England, travel services are unburdened, and prices are lower.

January Weather

In January the weather is cold in New England, probably with snow, sleet or freezing rain, but also days of brilliant sunshine. High temperatures may be about 30° to 40°F (-1.1° to 4.4°C), but are often lower. Low temperatures may be 10° to 20°F (-12° to -7°C), but may be below 0°F (-18°C) during multi-day "cold snaps."

In the mountains temperatures may drop to below -10°F (-23°C). Nobody in their right mind climbs to the summit of Mount Washington except the people who have to work there.

Mid-Winter Thaw

Everyone hopes for a mid-winter thaw, a period of several days when unseasonably warm weather moves in and temperatures rise to 50° or even 60°F (10° to 15.5°C), but it does not always happen.

January Shopping

The post-Christmas discount sales start right after Christmas in December, and carry into January as stores seek to extend the holiday shopping season (if at lower prices), and also to clear out inventory to prepare for the spring product lines.

Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Day ("MLK"), a national holiday commemorating the life, work and tragic death of civil rights crusader Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., is the third Monday in January, making for a long weekend that many people look upon as the beginning of the ski season (even though the slopes usually open in December). The slopes are always busy on "MLK."

Ski lodges and country inns offer money-saving package deals, especially if you stay on weekdays rather than weekends.

Stowe Winter Carnival, Stowe VT, with ski races, parties and other festivities, many of them outdoors, is held in January.

—by Tom Brosnahan



Mid-Winter Thaw

Skiing in New England

Tom's New England Almanac

New England's Climate

Festivals & Holidays

When to Go Homepage

New England Transportation

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Vermont blizzard road

Winter scene in Vermont.

Summit of Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine
Summit of Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine.
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