Statistically January is the coldest month of the year. The average high on the first is forty three with an average low of twenty eight. The averages do not fluctuate much over the course of the month. The average high and low on the thirty first is forty three and twenty seven. We average a little over six inches of snow Downtown and seven and a half inches in the northern and western suburbs. Technically, for Downtown anyway, February is the snowiest month. There has never been a recorded high temperature in the eighties this month. National did record a record high of seventy nine on the twenty sixth of the month back in 1950. In fact the only two months without any recorded highs in the eighties is December and January.
Early January will feature a rising Jupiter and a setting Venus an hour after sunset. Mars will also be visible early this month in the eastern sky shortly after midnight. The earth will be closest to the sun in its orbit. This position is known as Perihelion. Yes, the distance from the sun has little to do with the changing seasons. It is the tilt toward and away from the sun that causes the seasons to change. The full moon is on the fifteenth of the month and is known as the full Wolf Moon; named because the cold and heavy snow would force hungry wolf packs out of the mountains.