NATIONAL WEATHER SUMMARY
1-9: Colder, more tranquil weather temporarily overspread the central and eastern U.S., while a southward shift in the primary storm track brought the heaviest precipitation of the season to southern California. In the middle
Mississippi Valley, several days of dry weather allowed the rare winter flood to run its course and favored recovery operations. As the Mississippi River crest moved through the mid-South, impacts gradually diminished due to a wider, deeper channel. However, high water levels continued to disrupt transportation and maintained pressure on levees. Meanwhile, late week snow blanketed portions of the Plains, Midwest, and mid-South, although amounts were mostly light. Despite a turn toward cooler weather, near to above normal temperatures dominated the eastern half of the U.S. In fact, weekly temperatures averaged at least 10F above normal in parts of the upper Midwest. Temperatures across the western U.S. were a mix of above and below normal values.
The week began with cold air in place across parts of the interior West and a few snow squalls downwind of the
Great Lakes. With a low of 8°F, Pasco, WA, tied a daily record for January 3. The next day, South Bend, IN, netted a daily-record snowfall (4.6 inches) for January 4. Although no records were set, temperatures in parts of northern New England briefly dipped below -20F on January 5. Then, following several days with mostly uneventful temperatures, the strongest cold surge of the season arrived across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. La Crosse, WI, reported a low of 6F on January 9, the second latest observance of the season’s first single-digit reading in that location behind January 11, 1914. The average date of the season’s first sub-10F reading in La Crosse is November 30. In contrast, Miami, FL, notched a daily record tying high of 84F on January 9.
10-16: Periods of generally light precipitation (mostly snow) fell from the northern Plains into the Midwest. Consistently frigid conditions were limited to the upper Midwest, where temperatures ranging from -10 to -25F were common during the early to mid-week period and again at week’s end. Sub-freezing temperatures pushed deep into the South.
Early in the week, warmth briefly lingered in the East, while the coldest air of the season arrived in the upper Midwest. Daily record highs for January 10 were set in numerous Northeastern locations, including Wilmington, DE (66F); Newark, NJ (65F); Providence, RI (59F); and Portland, ME (52F). On January 11 in Rochester, MN, the temperature dipped to
-20°F—the lowest reading in that location since January 6, 2014, when it was -23F. It was also only the eighth observance of a low of -20F or below in Rochester since the beginning of the 21st century. Cold weather also prevailed across the Four Corners States, where
Randolph, UT, posted a daily record low of -19F on January 12. Later, warmth expanded across the South in advance of a cold front. In Texas, daily record highs for January 15 reached 83 F in Brownsville and 80F in Corpus Christi. Farther north, bitterly cold weather returned to the northern Plains and upper Midwest. By late January 16, the temperature in Glasgow, MT, dipped to -22 F.
Alaskan temperatures were slightly lower than the
17-23: An area of low pressure shifted across the Deep South on Wednesday, while a separate system transitioned across the Intermountain West. A low pressure system moved east northeastward across the Deep South and the Tennessee Valley. A mixture of rain and snow developed across the Midwest, the Tennessee Valley and the interior Mid-Atlantic. Winter storm warnings were issued for northern Georgia, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and southeast Kentucky. Gray, Tenn., reported a midday total of 4.0 inches of snow. Showers and thunderstorms also fired up across the Deep South on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a trough of low pressure pushed east southeastward across the Intermountain West. This system brought light to moderate precipitation to the Rockies, the northern Plains and the central Plains. Winter storm warnings were issued in southeast Wyoming. Winter weather advisories were issued across a handful of states stretching from Idaho to Missouri. Encampment, Wyo., reported a midday total of 13.5 inches of snow.
Out west, a Pacific system approached the coasts of northern California and southern Oregon. A warm frontal boundary associated with this system generated light to moderate rain and high elevation snow across northern California and portions of Oregon. A ridge of high pressure parked itself along the coast of southern California. This system influenced a dry weather pattern across the Southwest. Palm Springs, Calif., recorded a midday high of 70 degrees on Wednesday.
A powerful low pressure system impacted the East Coast on Saturday, while a Pacific system moved across the Northwest. A major winter storm moved northeastward across the Mid-Atlantic. This system generated gusty winds and heavy snow showers from the central Appalachians to southern New England. Blizzard warnings were issued from northeast Virginia to southern Connecticut on Saturday. Norbeck, Md., reported a midday total of 23.0 inches of snow. Block Island, R.I., recorded wind gusts of 75 mph. Winter storm warnings were also issued for eastern Tennessee, North Carolina, eastern Kentucky, Virginia, eastern West Virginia, Pennsylvania, southeast New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts. Central Park, N.Y., reported a midday total of 14.7 inches of snow. West Elizabeth, Pa., reported a midday total of 9.0 inches of snow. High pressure dried conditions out across the middle Mississippi Valley, the lower Mississippi Valley, the Deep South and the Southeast. Meanwhile, an area of low pressure ushered light to moderate snow across northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and northwest Michigan.
Out west, a Pacific system moved onshore over western Washington and northwest Oregon. This system produced moderate rain and high elevation snow from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. A cold frontal boundary stretched south southwestward from the northern Great Basin to southern California. Light to moderate precipitation developed along and near this frontal boundary from the central Rockies to the Southwest.
24-31: An area of low pressure shifted across the central third of the country on Monday, while a warm front brushed across the West Coast. A low pressure system moved east northeastward over the southern Plains and the middle Mississippi Valley. This system ushered a swath of light to moderate snow showers over the southern Rockies, the central Rockies, the central Plains, the northern Plains and the upper Midwest. Winter weather advisories were issued across a handful of states stretching from northeast New Mexico to Wisconsin. A mixture of rain and snow also affected the middle Mississippi Valley on Monday. North Platte, Neb., reported a midday total of 3.4 inches of snow. Avon, Minn., reported a midday total of 4.0 inches of snow. Dry conditions persisted from the Southeast to New England on Monday due to a ridge of high pressure over the western Atlantic. Miami, Fla., recorded a midday high of 68 degrees. Boston, Mass., recorded a midday high of 34 degrees. Meanwhile, a warm front skimmed across the West Coast. This frontal boundary produced light showers over the northwestern corner of California. Most of the Southwest experienced a dry weather pattern as a ridge of high pressure lingered along the coast of southern California. Los Angeles, Calif., recorded a midday high of 70 degrees, while Phoenix, Ariz., recorded a midday high of 61 degrees.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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