Stephen Dowdell has lived in Lawrence for all of his 64 years, and he swears he’s never seen a January day as warm as Monday.
The National Weather Service office in Topeka reported that temperatures reached 75 degrees by early Monday afternoon, eclipsing the record high for the month of January.
The previous mark, set originally in 1939 and matched in 2003, was 74 degrees.
Monday’s temps shot far past the previous record for the date, Jan. 28. The old mark of 67 degrees was set back in 1917.
Dowdell’s two granddaughters, 4-year-old twins, were among about 15 children running, climbing and sliding on playground equipment at Watson Park about 2:15 p.m. Monday.
He said it became clear early in the day that they would no longer need the winter coats they were wearing when they set out in the morning.
Monday’s weather was just “weird,” he said, not that he’s complaining. It’s a far cry from some of the winter days he remembers from his childhood, he said, when the snow would come up to his waist.
“If they had water in the swimming pool, I would probably go jump in that,” Dowdell said, eyeing the nearby Lawrence Outdoor Aquatic Center.
But the pool remained dry — perhaps the lone reminder on this day that it was still January.