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Old February 6th 19, 11:14 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default January 2019 National Weather Summary

1-5: Record-setting warmth preceded and accompanied the storminess in the Ohio Valley and the Southeast, boosting weekly temperatures at least 10 to 15ºF above normal. In contrast, cold air dominated the West for much of the week, holding temperatures more than 5ºF below normal in large sections of the Four Corners States. Generally dry weather prevailed in southern Florida and from the High Plains into the upper Midwest. During the second half of the week, cold air quickly eroded across the nation’s northern tier, particularly from Montana into the Great Lakes region, in part due to downslope winds. The mild, windy weather eroded or eliminated winter wheat’s protective snow cover, especially on the northern High Plains. With consecutive lows of -21ºF on December 31 and January 1, Lake Yellowstone, WY, reported its lowest readings since February 21, 2018. Elsewhere in Wyoming, Big Piney posted a daily-record low of -23ºF on January 2. Meanwhile in California, daily-record lows dipped to 19ºF (on January 2) in Barstow-Daggett and 25ºF (on January 4) in Ramona. In contrast, chinook winds contributed to rapid warming across the nation’s northern tier. Great Falls, MT, clocked a wind gust to 64 mph on January 3. The following day, Cut Bank, MT, reported a peak gust to 69 mph. Elsewhere in Montana, daily-record highs for January 3 included 56ºF in Havre and 50ºF in Glasgow. On January 4-5, locations such as Minneapolis-St. Paul (47ºF both days) and Rhinelander, WI (45 and 43ºF, respectively) closed the week with consecutive daily-record highs. Other daily record highs in Wisconsin on January 5 included 56ºF in Milwaukee and 47ºF in Green Bay. Farther south, spring-like warmth prevailed. It was the warmest New Year’s Eve on record in locations such as Alma, GA (79ºF), and Bristol, TN (75ºF). Similarly, it was the warmest New Year’s Day on record in Alma (82ºF), along with locations in the Atlantic Coast States such as Jacksonville, FL (83ºF); Elizabeth City, NC (75ºF); and Georgetown, DE (68ºF). In Georgia, Savannah logged consecutive daily-record highs (83 and 79ºF, respectively) on January 1-2. In Florida, daily-record highs included 87ºF (on January 2) in Naples and 86ºF (on January 4) in Melbourne..

6-12: Benign weather prevailed for several days, followed by a late-week storm system that delivered a swath of heavy snow from the central Plains into the Mid-Atlantic States. The storm, which struck from January 11-13, also signaled the end of a spell of unusually mild weather that had persisted since mid-December in the central and eastern U.S. Despite the late-week cooling trend, temperatures averaged at least 5 to 10ºF across a large part of the nation’s mid-section. In fact, near- or above-normal temperatures covered the entire country. Southern warmth developed in advance of the late-week storm system. By January 8, daily-record highs climbed to 80ºF in Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX, and 77ºF in Meridian, MS. Farther north, however, January 9 was the last of 28 consecutive days with an above-normal daily average temperature in Washington, DC—a streak that had begun on December 13. Albany, NY, reported peak wind gusts to 49 mph on January 9 and 10. Meanwhile, warmth arrived in the Pacific Northwest, where Salem, OR, posted a daily-record high of 60ºF on January 10. In Washington, Seattle collected consecutive daily-record highs (61 and 59ºF, respectively) on January 11-12. Elsewhere on the 12th, Medford, OR, logged a daily-record high of 65ºF. It was Medford’s highest temperature since November 18.

13-19: General warmth accompanied the Western storminess, with weekly temperatures averaging at least 5ºF above normal in parts of the southern Great Basin and the Southwest. In fact, near- or above-normal temperatures dominated the country, with notably colder-than-normal conditions limited to the Northeast. Despite overarching warmth, few temperature records were set. On January 13, lingering warmth across Florida’s peninsula led to a daily-record high of 84ºF in West Palm Beach. Meanwhile, mild weather stretched from the Pacific Northwest to the northern High Plains. Record-setting high temperatures for the 13th included 58ºF in Cut Bank, MT, and 57ºF in Hoquiam, WA. In Oregon, North Bend posted a daily-record high of 63ºF for January 14. In contrast, Burlington, VT, reported three consecutive days with a low of -6ºF from January 19-21, a period during which snowfall totaled 18.6 inches. Farther west, International Falls, MN, closed with week with a low of -38ºF (not a record for the date) on January 19. Elsewhere in northern Minnesota, a low of -46ºF was reported early on January 20.

20-26: Dry weather prevailed from southern California to the southern High Plains, while little or no snow fell across the upper Midwest. By week’s end, a variable snow cover stretched from the northern half of the Plains into the Northeast, including much of the Corn Belt. Although late-week temperatures plunged to 0°F or below as far south as northeastern Kansas and northern Missouri. Cold weather covered much of the eastern half of the country, with weekly temperatures averaging more than 10°F below normal in parts of the upper Midwest. In contrast, generally mild weather covered the western U.S., particularly from the Cascades to the northern High Plains. The week began with some frigid air trailing a storm system across the Midwest and Northeast. On January 21 in Michigan, daily-record lows plunged to -23°F in Gaylord and -12°F in Muskegon. Elsewhere on the 21st, Worcester, MA, reported minimum and maximum temperatures of -6 and 1°F, respectively—both records for the date. However, Midwestern and Northeastern temperatures quickly (but temporarily) rebounded to above-normal levels in conjunction with the January 23-24 storm system. Days later, another sharp cold snap arrived across the Midwest. By January 26, temperatures plummeted to daily-record levels in locations such as Alpena, MI (-25°F); Oshkosh, WI (-24°F); Moline, IL (-22°F); and Dubuque, IA (20°F). With a low of -23°F on the 26th, Madison, WI, reported its lowest reading since February 3, 1996, when the temperature dropped to -29°F. More details on the Midwestern cold outbreak, which further intensified, will appear next week.

27-31: A brutal but short-lived Arctic outbreak swept across the Midwest and Northeast in late January. Snow and gusty winds preceded and accompanied the cold wave. Areas from central Missouri into northwestern Ohio, experienced near- or sub-zero temperatures without the benefit of snow cover. Weekly temperatures averaged as much as 10 to 20°F below normal across the upper Midwest and the Great Lakes region. The frigid conditions extended into the Northeast (locally more than 10°F below normal), while near- or below-normal temperatures also covered the Southeast. In contrast, warmer-than-normal weather prevailed from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains, except in some snow covered locations in the Rockies and Intermountain West. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather covered the central and southern Plains, while periods of rain affected the Gulf Coast region. Before the core of the Arctic air arrived, cold air was already entrenched across the upper Great Lakes region. In northern Minnesota, lows dipped to daily-record levels on January 27 in International Falls (-46°F) and Hibbing (-40°F). It was the lowest reading in International Falls since January 21, 2011, when the temperature also fell to -46°F. In Michigan, Marquette opened the week with consecutive daily-record lows of -26°F on January 27-28. Meanwhile, mild weather in the Pacific Coast States resulted in daily-record highs for January 27 in locations such as San Francisco, CA (68°F), and Redmond, OR (67°F). Farther east, historically cold air engulfed the Midwest on January 30-31. In South Dakota, daily-record lows for January 30 plunged to -37°F in Aberdeen and -34°F in Watertown. Moline, IL, set all-time record lows on consecutive days, with -29 and -33°F, respectively, on January 30-31. Previously, Moline’s lowest reading had been -28°F on February 3, 1996. Other all-time records on the 31st included -31°F in Rockford, IL (previously, -27°F on January 10, 1982), and -30°F in Cedar Rapids, IA (previously, -29°F on January 15, 2009). With lows of -20°F on January 30-31, South Bend, IN, experienced its coldest weather since January 19, 1994, when it was -21°F. Elsewhere on the 31st, daily-record lows plummeted to -45°F in International Falls, MN; -33°F in La Crosse, WI; -31°F in Sisseton, SD, and Dubuque and Waterloo, IA; and -30°F in Marshfield, WI. For Dubuque, it was the lowest temperature since January 7, 1887, when an all-time record of -32°F occurred.

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