February 9, 2011

January Climate Report Details Cold, Dry Weather

In a new report released by the National Climatic Data Center, researchers said January was colder and, quite surprisingly, drier than normal for the United States.

The average temperature for January was 30 degrees Fahrenheit for the country -- about 0.8 degrees colder than usual for the month -- NCDC reported on Tuesday.

And, even though several winter storms blew across the country last month, it was the ninth driest January on record, with records going back to 1895, it reported.

Precipitation for the US averaged 1.48 inches for the month, three-quarters-of-an-inch below normal.

The NCDC also said the last three months have been particularly cool across the US Southeast, even though global readings for 2010 were on a path to tie 2005 readings for the warmest year on record.

Scientists stress that while the planet continues to feel the effects of climate change and warms overall, conditions vary from region to region.

Temperatures for January were the coolest recorded in the US since 1994. The cool conditions were mostly felt points east of the Rockies, while the west, especially Washington, Oregon and California, experienced warmer than normal temperatures.

As far as precipitation, New Mexico had its driest January on record, while Arizona and Nevada had their second driest Januaries on record. Virginia, Oklahoma, North Carolina and California were also states that were much drier than usual.

North Dakota and Nebraska both had greater than normal precipitation.

New York City and Hartford, Connecticut were among cities that saw record snowfall from winter storms in January. Hartford's Bradley International Airport measured 57.0 inches for January, marking the city's all-time snowiest month on record, according to the NCDC.


Image Caption: On Jan. 11, snow and ice covered 49 out of 50 U.S. states. Credit NOAA


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