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1st-5th…Parts of southern Alaska received significant precipitation. Juneau’s weekly precipitation total of 1.57 inches (2.9 inches of snow)
was aided by a daily-record rainfall of 0.81 inch on December 30. Weekly precipitation reached 3.30 inches on Annette Island and 3.09 inches in Yakutat. Farther south, wetter and increasingly windy conditions prevailed in Hawaii. On Oahu, Honolulu followed its driest December on record (0.01 inch, or 3.23 inches below normal), with rainfall totaling 0.14 inch from January 1-5. Kahului, Maui, also received more rain from January 1-5 (0.81 inch) than during all of December (0.24 inch, or 3.11 inches below normal). Twenty-four hour rainfall totals topped 4 inches in a few spots, including Kilohana, Kauai, where 4.62 inches fell on December 31 – January 1. At week’s end, trade wind gusts to 44 mph were clocked on January 5 at the Molokai Airport, along with Honolulu and Kahului.
6th-12…Severe weather developed over the lower Mississippi River Valley on Thursday, while heavy snow showers moved through the Intermountain West, Northern Rockies, and Great Basin. A low pressure system over the Southern Plains advanced northeastward and created a strong frontal boundary over the Lower Mississippi River. A warm front stretched eastward over the Southeast, while a cold front followed closely behind and moved eastward from eastern Texas. Abundant moisture poured in from the Gulf of Mexico, which supplied energy into this system and allowed for severe thunderstorms to develop over Louisiana and Mississippi. The region saw heavy rainfall and strong winds, with even some tornado development. Mid-day rainfall totals surpassed 2 inches in many areas, with the heaviest rainfall reported in Alexandria Esle, Louisiana with a mid-day total of 4.02 inches. Strong winds blew down multiple trees and power lines across Mississippi. A tornado touch down was spotted at an industrial plant near Plaquemine, Louisiana. Near the center of the low pressure system, precipitation continued as it moved northward from the Southern Plains and into the mid-Mississippi Valley. Widespread rain showers stretched from Kansas, into Indiana, with areas of snow showers in Nebraska and Iowa. Meanwhile in the West, a broad low pressure system moved over the Western States and created heavy snowfall across Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Utah. Snowfall accumulation for Idaho has ranged from 3 to 8 inches and western Montana reported mid-day snowfall accumulation from 5 to 10 inches. Heavier snowfall fell at highest mountain peaks and passes. High wind advisories were issued along the leading edge of this system as winds gusted from 40 to 60 mph. Strongest winds were reported at Ogden Peak which is in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah at 9,570 feet with 95 mph gust.
A system produced flooding problems in Louisiana and Mississippi the past several days finally left the area Friday and headed to the north. Moderate to occasionally heavy rain moved through the Mississippi Valley and into the Ohio Valley, leaving mostly dry conditions for most of the Southeast. In addition to the rain in the Ohio Valley, a mixture of rain and snow also moved through the Great Lakes. There was not a tremendous amount of cold air to support the snowfall, so the snow gradually became rain as the day progressed.
Meanwhile, a strong storm continued to bring Arctic air southward into the West and Rockies. This cold air aided in the production of well over a foot of new snow in the higher elevations of the Great Basin and Rockies. More snow is anticipated through Saturday as Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories remain posted.
13th-19th…Heavy rain and snow moved through the Southeast on Monday as a strong cold front continued to move eastward through the Eastern U.S. The northern side of this front pulled eastward and offshore of the East Coast, while the southern side of this front stretched from the Lower Mississippi River Valley to the Carolinas and Virginias. Abundant moisture and energy fed into this system from the Gulf of Mexico, which allowed for heavy rains and flooding to remain of concern for the Lower Mississippi River Valley and the Tennessee Valley. Scattered snow showers moved from Arkansas and southeastern Missouri, into Illinois and Indiana. Ice storm warnings and freezing rain warnings were issued for Lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys.
Heavy rain showers continued across the Southeast on Wednesday. A frontal boundary lingered over the Southeast and triggered more heavy rains from the Lower Mississippi River Valley through the Mid-Atlantic states. As this system advanced northeastward, cooler temperatures in the north allowed for rain showers to turn to freezing rain and snow showers from the Central Appalachians through Maine. Snowfall accumulation ranged from 3 to 6 inches by mid-day on Wednesday, while rainfall totals varied around an inch. Coatesville, Pennsylvania reported 1.04 inches of rain, while Greenville, New York reported 5.5 inches of new snow. Temperatures southeast of the frontal boundary remained in the upper 70s to lower 80s, while temperatures behind the front ranged in the mid-30s.
20th-26th…Wet and snowy conditions spread across the eastern valleys and Great Lakes, while rain showers persisted in the Southwest and Northwest on Friday. A low pressure system over the Southeast advanced northeastward over the eastern valleys and cold temperatures over the region allowed for scattered snow showers develop across the Mid-Atlantic states and Northeast. At the same time, another low pressure system moved into the Great Lakes from the Northern Plains. Warmer temperatures along the southern side of this system allowed for freezing rain and rain showers to spread across the Tennessee Valley and into the Carolinas. Snowfall totals ranged from 3 to 5 inches from Wisconsin through Pennsylvania, with 1 to 2 inches across the Virginias. Ice accumulation over the Tennessee Valley reached over a quarter of an inch, which created dangerous roads and travel conditions.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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