For the first time in 3 weeks, we were actually below normal for high temperatures. The cold front arrived early Friday morning and with highs only in the 20s, it snapped a 19 day streak of highs above the normal of 31. We stayed cold this weekend but we get back to the freezing mark today with scattered snow showers.
January was a very warm month with an average temperature of 28.3 degrees, or 6 degrees above normal. That’s significant! The contiguous U.S. had an average January temperature of 36.3 degrees, or 5.5 degrees above normal. That is the 4th warmest January on record and the warmest since 2006. All the Plains states had average temperatures that ranked in the Top 10. Florida and Washington were near average and there were no states below average.
However, Alaska has been just the opposite. It has been extremely cold and snowy. Several towns in Alaska had their all-time coldest January average temperatures; Nome was -16.6, Bethel -17.3, McGrath -28.5, and Bettles was -35.6 degrees…that is the average temperature…ouch! Parts of Alaska have received 300-400” of snow, while the contiguous U.S. had the 3rd smallest January snow cover in the past 46 years. Meanwhile, Europe and Russia are in the grips of a deadly arctic air mass with lows of -20 to -60 and crippling snow.