January Daily Observations
January 6-7 Snow
Total Snow: 5.4"
Total Precip: 0.27"
Max Wind Gust: WNW 29 mph (Jan 6)
Arctic air spilled in just before the new year, bringing the coldest air of the season so far. Wind chills flirted around -20° at some times. With extreme cold air in place, a strong system slid through the area from the Northwest. Traditionally, these storms don't carry much moisture, especially with the polar air in the region. But this one packed enough punch to give much of the midwest a decent snow cover. As the storm passed, winds picked up, and sustained in the 20 mph range.
As the storm began, we had a few hours of nice, BEAUTIFUL vertically falling snow. Overnight, the winds picked up, and a different scene could be found. Below are a few of pictures of the drifting that occurred:
The snow was extremely dry, with a water content of 20:1. I literally swept the snow off my car in the above picture with a broom. The drifts are telling of the wind gusts we experienced overnight. The drifts you see in the pictures were 12" in some places. Click HERE for more pictures.
Mean Temp: 24.7°
Maximum: 52° on Jan 13
Minimum: -5° on Jan 9
Heating Degree Days: 1250 | 1178 last year
Cooling Degree Days: 0
As I stated before, the arctic air was the story of the first part of the month. On December 31, we dropped below freezing, and we didn't get above that mark for 11 days. That's a long time for our area. Some shallow ponds around here have risked a major fish kill as the ice reached ~10" (as reported to me by some). It is easy to see from the below graph that we rebounded very quickly during the second week, and stayed in a warm pattern for 10 days.
The warmer temperatures are deceiving because during that time, we were under a cloud (in it, actually) for much of that time. Dense fog was the word through that period. For a nine-day period (from Jan 15 - 23), we had fog, lasting all day at times!
Average January: 1.87"
Actual January: 2.47" (+0.60")
Average January Snow: 7.2"
Actual January Snow: 5.6" (1.6")
Days with measurable precip: 5
Days with measurable snow: 3
Days with snow cover (>T): 13
For the third year in a row, January has fallen short of its snowfall quota. After reading OSNW3's January Report, I made an interesting realization. January is supposed to be our snowiest month, but as of late, it hasn't. It is the same in his area (Oshkosh, WI). We did make an improvement from last year's precipitation, thanks to a nice storm system that brought over an inch. Our ground drank up 2"+ more water than last January. Unfortunately, we currently do NOT need any more moisture. I'm afraid our luck will run out this July and August with a crippling drought.
Even though we didn't get many measurable events this month, we did see snow falling from the sky 10 days. The current outlook for the beginning of February promises a combination of a sub-tropical jet (thanks to El Nino), and northern jet stream that could converge enough to provide some interesting weather. It'll be fun to see it pan out.
Days with Precip:
As stated before, the last three years have been lacking in the snow department. It's interesting that we have had equal amounts of measurable precipitation days for each of the years, and although we exceeded the precip amount two out of the three months, we still didn't hit the mark with snowfall. Looking at the NWS STL data for January 2008, I see that it wasfairly warm (3.4° above average), with the high temperature reaching 73° on the 7th!
Other Weather Info
Days with thunder: 0
Days with fog: 9
Days with wind gust (>= 20 mph): 6