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Old February 8th 18, 09:44 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default January 2018 National Weather Summary



1-6: Cold, dry weather dominated the country, although there were significant exceptions. For example, a major winter storm grazed the southern Atlantic Coast with rare snowfall before slamming the Northeast with wind-driven snow and heavy surf. And, unusual warmth persisted from California to the Four Corners region, where weekly temperatures averaged at least 10F above normal in several locations. Conversely, frigid weather dominated areas from the Plains to the East Coast. Temperatures ranged from 20 to 25F below normal in a strip across the Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic States. A much larger area, covering nearly all of the eastern half of the U.S., averaged more than 10F below normal. At times, temperatures plunged to -30F or below in Montana, Minnesota, and the Dakotas, as well as scattered locations in the Northeast. On January 3-4, light freezes affected nearly all of Deep South Texas. Similarly, parts of Florida’s peninsula experienced generally light freezes on January 4-5. However, blustery conditions hampered freeze-protection efforts, particularly with regard to tender vegetables. During the second half of the week, showery weather developed across northern California and the Northwest. New Year’s Eve (December 31) and New Year’s Day (January 1) featured consecutive daily-record lows in locations such as Cedar Rapids, IA (-22 and -24F), and Timber Lake, SD (-31 and -32F). Elsewhere in South Dakota, other daily-record lows for December 31 included -30°F in Mobridge and -31F in Huron. Williston, ND, also collected a daily-record low of -31°F on New Year’s Eve. On January 1, temperatures plunged to -30F or below and set daily records in Turner, MT (-36F); Kennebec, SD (-35F); Watertown, NY (33F); Havre, MT (-32F); Aberdeen, SD (-32F); Mobridge, SD (-30F); and Miles City, MT (-30F).. Farther south, sub-zero readings set records for New Year’s Day in several locations, including St. Joseph, MO (-14°F), and Garden City, KS (-9F). Meanwhile in Illinois, record-setting lows for January 1 dipped to -19F in Moline and -16F in Peoria. In fact, high temperatures on New Year’s Day remained below 0F in Illinois locations such as Peoria, Lincoln, and Moline—all of which peaked at -2F. The frigid conditions continued through January 2, when Sioux City, IA (-28F), experienced its fifth-lowest reading on record—and lowest temperature since December 29, 1917. Cedar Rapids, IA, posted a third consecutive daily-record low on January 2, with a low of -23F. In the lower Midwest, sub-zero daily records for January 2 included -13°F in Dayton, OH, and Fort Wayne, IN.. From December 28 – January 2, Glens Falls, NY, registered five daily-record lows in 6 days, tumbling to -25°F on the 2nd. Later, cold air reached deep into the Southeast, with single-digit readings resulting in daily records in North Carolina locations such as New Bern (°F on January 5) and Elizabeth City (4F on January 6). Bitter cold returned by week’s end to the Great Lakes region, where Pellston, MI, tallied consecutive daily-record lows (-33 and -35F, respectively) on January 5-6. Temperatures in Indianapolis, IN, remained at or below 20F for 12 consecutive days (December 26 – January 6), breaking the station record of 10 days set from January 4-13, 1912; January 23 – February 1, 1936; and January 2-11, 1979. And, the temperature in St. Louis, MO, remained below 32F on 14 consecutive days from December 26 – January 6—the longest stretch of sub-freezing weather in that location since December 15-30, 1983. In stark contrast, several daily record highs were set in California and the Southwest. On January 2, Woodland Hills, CA, noted a daily-record high of 85F.

7-13: Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10F above normal across much of the interior West. Bitterly cold conditions also returned to the Midwest at week’s end, following several days of above-normal temperatures. In many Midwestern locations, significant snow preceded and accompanied the transition to colder weather. In fact, snow extended into the South on January 12, when significant accumulations occurred as far south as the northern Mississippi Delta. Heavy rain, in excess of 2 inches, fell in the central Gulf Coast region. Late-week rain also totaled 2 inches or more in many locations across the middle and northern Atlantic States. The rain, combined with brief warmth and a lack of absorption by frozen soils, led to local flooding and ice jams. Bitterly cold conditions persisted early in the week across the East. From January 5-8, Elizabeth City, NC, noted four consecutive daily record lows (11, 4, 2, and 7°F). On January 7-8, consecutive daily record lows were established in locations such as Georgetown, DE (0 and 8F); New Bern, NC (5 and 8F); and Norfolk, VA (10°F both days). Sub-zero, daily-record lows for January 7 included -30F in Watertown, NY; -2°F in Burlington, VT; -14F in Elkins, WV; 9°F in Worcester, MA; -8°F in Zanesville, OH; and -2F in Lynchburg, VA. Later, dramatically milder air overspread the eastern U.S. Just 5 days after reporting a daily-record low of -2F on January 7, Trenton, NJ, noted a minimum temperature of 51F. Similarly, Lynchburg’s January 12 minimum of 54F came just 5 days after the aforementioned daily-record low. The surge of warmth, in advance of a strong cold front, resulted in daily-record highs on January 11 in dozens of locations, including Charleston, WV (71F); Bristol, TN (69F); and Grand Rapids, MI (58F). The following day, record-setting highs for January 12 rose to 85°F in Melbourne, FL; 73F in Elizabeth City, NC; 70F in Lynchburg, VA; and 66F in Scranton, PA. Warmth also developed on the High Plains, where daily-record highs for January 10 reached 78F in Midland, TX, and 73°F in Garden City, KS. Farther west, late-week warmth produced record-setting highs for January 13 in locations such as Long Beach, CA (88F), and Tucson, AZ (78F). In Texas, Amarillo’s record-setting dry spell stretched to 92 days (and counting), more than 2 weeks longer than the former record of 75 days set from October 21, 1956 – January 3, 1957. Amarillo last received measurable precipitation on October 13, 2017. In Nevada, however, Las Vegas reported rainfall totaling 0..14 and 1.33 inches, respectively, on January 8-9. Las Vegas had not received a drop of rain in a record-breaking span of 116 days from September 14 – January 7 (previously, 101 days from July 2 – October 10, 1944). Las Vegas’ 1.33-inch sum on January 9 represented the highest non-monsoon daily total on record (previously, 1.29 inches in February 8, 1993). The wettest January day in Las Vegas had been January 21, 2010, with 0.89 inch. Elsewhere, rainfall in Albuquerque, NM, totaled 0.03 inch on January 10, ending a 96-day streak without measurable precipitation. It was Albuquerque’s longest stretch without measurable precipitation since 1956, when there was a 107day streak from February 4 – May 20.

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