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Old February 6th 19, 11:15 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default January 2019 National Storm Summary

1-5: Additional rounds of heavy Southeastern rain fell across a broad swath stretching from the central Gulf Coast States northward into the Ohio Valley and eastward into the southern Appalachians. Days later, from January 2-4, soaking rains returned to the South, leading to extensive lowland flooding from eastern Texas into portions of Georgia and South Carolina. Aside from the South, East, and lower Midwest, significant precipitation was confined to the Pacific Northwest and parts of the Southwest. A batch of heavy rain moved through parts of the East on December 30, where daily-record totals included 1.31 inches at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and 1.29 inches in Newark, NJ. On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, another large area of rain swept across the Corn Belt and Southeast, while snow blanketed portions of the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Precipitation on December 31 pushed annual precipitation to record-high levels in locations such as Columbus, OH, and Pittsburgh, PA. Columbus, with 55.18 inches, edged its 2011 standard of 54.96 inches. Pittsburgh’s annual total climbed to 57.83 inches, clipping its 2004 mark of 57.41 inches. It was the wettest New Year’s Day on record in a host of communities, including Springfield, IL (2.08 inches); Columbia, MO (2.06 inches); Jackson, MS (1.67 inches); London, KY (1.63 inches); and Dayton, OH (1.47 inches). A trio of tornadoes was spotted on New Year’s Eve—two in southern Indiana and one in western Kentucky. Meanwhile in Wyoming, snowfall on December 31 totaled 4.2 inches in Lander and 3.0 inches in Riverton. Duluth, MN, with a sum of 4.3 inches on the 31st, experienced its snowiest New Year’s Eve on record. Similarly, 8.1 inches of snow blanketed Gaylord, MI, on December 31. Starting in late December and continuing into the New Year, significant snow fell in the southern Rockies and environs. Following a 3.0-inch snowfall from December 26-28, Albuquerque, NM, netted 2.0 inches of snow on New Year’s Day. During the late-December event, snowfall had totaled 1 to 2 feet or more in parts of New Mexico, including mountainous areas near Ruidoso. Farther east, heavy rain again fell across the South from January 2-4. Record-setting rainfall totals for January 2 included 2.52 inches in Waco, TX, and 2.16 inches in Alexandria, LA. A day later, stormy weather across portions of the southern Plains set precipitation and snowfall records for January 3 in Oklahoma City, OK (1.29 inches and 4.5 inches of snow), and Wichita Falls, TX (0.75 inch and 2.5 inches of snow). Later, daily record rainfall totals included 2.14 inches (on January 3) in New Iberia, LA, and 2.33 inches (on January 4) in Columbus, GA.

6-12: Periods of precipitation fell in the West, particularly in the Pacific Coast States. According to preliminary data provided by the California Department of Water Resources, the average water content of the high elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack increased to 11 inches (84 percent of normal) by mid-January, up from 7 inches (71 percent) on New Year’s Day. Precipitation also fell at many inland locations, particularly across the Intermountain West. Elsewhere, locally heavy precipitation—mostly rain—fell early in the week across the Midwest and East. However, portions of the upper Great Lakes region received heavy snow. Early-week rain fell at lower elevations in the Pacific Coast States, while snowfall blanketed many mountain sites, including portions of the Intermountain West. On January 6, downtown Sacramento, CA, netted a daily-record rainfall of 1.26 inches. Farther inland, Utah’s Kodachrome Basin State Park received a 24-hour snowfall total of 7.8 inches on January 5-6. Later, heavy precipitation spread across parts of the Midwest. Record-setting precipitation totals for January 7 included 1.34 inches in Sault Sainte Marie, MI; 0.95 inch in Dubuque, IA; and 0.91 inch in Green Bay, WI. Sault Sainte Marie also reported a daily-record snowfall of 12.3 inches. Then, following a few days of mostly tranquil weather, heavy snow developed across the nation’s mid-section. On January 11, Alamosa, CO, collected daily-record totals for precipitation and snowfall (0.60 and 7.6 inches, respectively). On the same date in Missouri, snowfall totaled 10.4 inches in Columbia and 7..8 inches in St. Louis. Storm-total (January 11-12) snowfall in those locations reached 16.9 and 11.4 inches, respectively. Heavy snow fell as far north as central Iowa, where Des Moines received 5.5 inches on January 1112. With 3 inches on the ground on the morning of the 12th, Des Moines also noted its latest-ever occurrence of the season’s first snow depth of an inch or greater (previously, January 5, 1980). Meanwhile in Illinois, January 11-13 snowfall totaled 11.7 inches in Lincoln, 11.5 inches in Springfield, and 11.2 inches in Peoria. Farther east, record setting snowfall totals for January 12 included 6.9 inches in Indianapolis, IN, and 6.1 inches in Dayton, OH. Snow also began on that date in the Mid-Atlantic region, where January 12-13 snowfall topped the 10-inch mark at Virginia’s Dulles Airport (10.6 inches) and Washington, DC (10.2 inches).

13-19: Heavy snow lingered early in the week in the Mid-Atlantic region, followed by several days of dry weather. However, precipitation returned across the eastern half of the U.S. during the latter half of the week, resulting in another round of heavy snow. The most significant snow, starting on January 18, spread from the northern and central Plains into the Northeast.. Meanwhile, late-week rain drenched portions of the South and East, particularly from the northern Mississippi Delta to the middle Atlantic Coast. Farther west, a series of powerful Pacific storms moved inland. Precipitation, which primarily affected California and the Desert Southwest for several days, later expanded to cover most of the western U.S. The average water content of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack increased to 16 inches by week’s end, up from 7 inches at the beginning of January. Snow persisted through January 13 in the Mid-Atlantic region, where storm-total snowfall climbed to 10.6 inches at Virginia’s Dulles Airport and 10.2 inches in Washington, DC. The bulk of the snow, 7.7 and 8.3 inches, respectively, fell on the 13th. Lingering snow also fell in the Ohio Valley, where January the 12-13 total in Cincinnati, OH, reached 7.5 inches. By January 14, the focus for heavy precipitation turned to southern California, where record setting rainfall totals reached 1.52 inches in Burbank and 1..30 inches in Sandberg. January 14-17 rainfall at those two locations totaled 3.13 and 3.80 inches, respectively. In the Sierra Nevada foothills, weekly precipitation in Blue Canyon, CA, totaled 7.56 inches. Farther inland, Las Vegas, NV, netted consecutive daily-record rainfall amounts (0.28 and 0.39 inch, respectively) on January 14-15. Other record-setting totals for January 15 included 0.86 inch in Sacramento, CA, and 0.82 inch in Kingman, AZ. Sacramento also measured a daily record sum (1.41 inches) on January 16. Elsewhere in California, Bishop received a January 17 total of 1.49 inches— the highest daily sum in that location since December 19, 2010, when 3.32 inches fell. On January 17, daily-record totals included 0.76 inch in Salt Lake City, UT, and 0.30 inch in Idaho Falls, ID. Alta, UT, received 2.55 inches of precipitation and 19.0 inches of snow in a 24-hour period on January 17-18. By the 18th, heavy snow developed across the north-central U.S. In South Dakota, daily-record precipitation and snowfall totals for January 18 were broken in locations such as Mitchell (0.49 and 4.7 inches) and Huron (0.47 and 6.5 inches). Daily records for both precipitation and snowfall were also set on the 18th in Rochester, MN (0.55 and 8.1 inches). The following day, when precipitation spread across the Great Lakes and Northeastern States, record-setting snowfall totals for January 19 reached 7.8 inches in Rochester, NY, and 5.8 inches in Detroit, MI. Rochester’s 2-day (January 19-20) snowfall totaled 16.0 inches. More details on this storm’s Northeastern impacts will appear next week. Meanwhile, another round of Western storminess led to record-setting rainfall totals for January 19 in Crescent City, CA (3.63 inches), and Medford, OR (1.58 inches).

20-26: Another moisture-laden cold front swept across the eastern half of the country, delivering the latest round of heavy precipitation. The heaviest rain swept across the South on January 23-24. Earlier, the week had begun in the midst of a major Northeastern winter storm that dumped heavy snow across interior locations and downpours closer to the Atlantic Seaboard. Parts of the Northeast received more than a foot of snow on January 19-20. Abundant snow also fell from the Cascades and Sierra Nevada to the northern and central Rockies, with rain occurring in some Western valleys. Early- to mid-week snow also spilled across portions of the northern and central Plains. As a major Northeastern winter storm continued on January 20, daily-record snowfall totals included 15.6 inches in Burlington, VT; 16.9 inches in Caribou, ME; and 10.4 inches in Albany, NY. Two-day (January 19-20) totals reached 17.3 inches in Burlington and 13.9 inches in Albany. Caribou and Albany netted a daily record precipitation totals (1.45 and 1.25 inches, respectively) for January 20, while—closer to the Atlantic Coast—Providence, RI, also collected a daily-record sum (2.04 inches), but received snowfall totaling just 0.7 inch. Through the 26th, Caribou’s month-to-date snowfall reached 50.1 inches, surpassing its January 1994 standard of 44.5 inches. Meanwhile, a Pacific storm system began to move inland across the West. On January 20, Eureka, CA, measured a daily-record rainfall of 2.26 inches. The following day, record-setting snowfall totals for January 21 included 8.6 inches in Tooele, UT, and 6.3 inches in Billings, MT. Billings received a second round of snow, totaling 6.5 inches, on January 23. Meanwhile, snow also spread across the central Plains, where Concordia, KS, logged a daily-record snowfall (6.4 inches) for January 22. The following day, heavy rain erupted across the South. Record-setting rainfall totals for January 23 included 2.46 inches in Birmingham, AL, and 2.32 inches in New Orleans, LA. Rain extended northward into the lower Midwest, where Indianapolis, IN, reported rainfall totaling 1.15 inches—a daily record for January 23. Heavy showers swept into the East on January 24, setting a multitude of daily rainfall records—among them were totals of 1.95 inches in New Bern, NC; 1.90 inches in Allentown, PA; 1.65 inches in Atlantic City, NJ; 1.46 inches in Glens Falls, NY. Burlington, VT, received a daily-record total of 1.02 inches of precipitation—mostly rain—on the 24th, days after reporting 18.6 inches of snow from January 19-21 and a low of 16°F on January 22. Late in the week, light snow—except locally heavy downwind of the Great Lakes—fell in the Midwest, while heavy rain developed across Florida’s peninsula. Record setting snowfall totals for January 25 included 17.2 inches in Buffalo, NY, and 2.2 inches in Lincoln, IL. The following day in Florida, Fort Lauderdale collected a record-setting rainfall total (2..13 inches) for January 26. Fort Lauderdale’s two-day (January 26-27) sum reached 3.55 inches.

27-31: Precipitation was especially heavy in California, boosting high-elevation snowpack. However, heavy rain in California’s lower elevations led to some flooding and debris flows, especially in recently burned areas. Rain affected the Gulf Coast region. The heaviest Southern rain fell across Florida’s peninsula, helping to alleviate dryness that had developed in recent months. The week opened with heavy rain falling in Florida, where record-setting totals for January 27 reached 3.74 inches in in Melbourne, 3.67 inches in Fort Myers, and 3.29 inches in Fort Pierce. It was Melbourne’s third wettest January day behind 4.70 inches on January 12, 1979, and 4.13 inches on January 20, 1983. Meanwhile, heavy Midwestern snow preceded the Arctic outbreak. Rochester, MN, received 8.4 inches of snow from January 26-28, aided by a daily-record sum of 5.1 inches on the 27th. Record-setting snowfall totals for January 28 included 11.8 inches in Alpena, MI; 9.7 inches in Green Bay, WI; and 6.7 inches in South Bend, IN.. By January 29-30, wind chill temperatures bottomed out between -60 and -65°F in numerous upper Midwestern locations, including Grand Forks, ND; Rochester, MN; and Charles City, IA. Farther south, precipitation briefly changed to snow across parts of the South. In Mississippi, record-setting snowfall totals for January 29 included 0.3 inch in Jackson and 0.1 inch in Meridian. In areas downwind of the Great Lakes, snow squalls developed during the cold blast. Buffalo, NY, measured consecutive daily-record snowfall totals (6.4 and 13.6 inches, respectively) on January 29-30. Elsewhere, a first round of precipitation reached California on January 31, when Sandberg netted a daily-record sum (1.16 inches). Two days later, record-setting precipitation totals for February 2 included 0.25 inch in Las Vegas, NV, and 0.22 inch in Barstow-Daggett, CA

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