January weather in region: cold, snowy
January was cold and snowy in the region which includes Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and Western Kentucky.
The National Weather Service office in Paducah posted a review of January’s weather on its website.
Temperatures ranged from 3 to 5 degrees below normal across the region, the weather service reported.
Through the first 19 days of the month, the weather ranked as the fifth coldest start to January on record in Paducah.
Two “brutal cold snaps” were recorded, one during the first week of the month and the next from Jan. 12 to Jan. 19.
“Temperatures were on a roller coaster ride from highs in the 60s on January 11th, then stuck in the teens on the afternoon of the 16th, and finally back into the 60s by the 21st,” the weather service reported.
The last 11 days of the month brought warmer temperatures, even a few days into the 60s, which helped to bring up the average temperature for the month after the frigid start.
The weather service noted that the region was impacted by two significant snowstorms during January.
The first occurred with the passage of a cold front during the late evening and over night on Jan. 11, resulting in rain which changed to a brief period of freezing rain, which was followed by sleet.
A band of snow developed by the morning of Jan. 12. Western Kentucky experienced the brunt of heavier snowfall amounts, with localized totals of 6 to 7 inches.
Another cold front pushed through on Jan. 15 and stalled over the region, producing “another healthy snow event.”
Snowfall amounts with this event were upwards of 5 to 8 or more inches across portions of far Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and Western Kentucky.
At the weather service office in Paducah, measurable snow was on the ground for eight days in a row. “This is a fairly rare feat for this part of the country,” the weather service noted.
Overall precipitation varied “quite a bit across the region” during January. Parts of the area had above normal precipitation, other areas were below normal for the month.
Paducah had the fourth snowiest January on record.
The weather service also reported that the following records were set during the month in Paducah:
A record low temperature of 2 degrees was set on Jan. 2.
Record daily snowfall of 4.3 inches was set on Jan. 12.
Record daily snowfall of 8.1 inches was set on Jan. 15.
The following records were set, or tied, in Cape Girardeau:
A record low temperature of 3 degrees below zero was tied on Jan. 2.
A record low temperature of 6 was set on Jan. 4.
A record warm low temperature of 47 was tied on Jan. 21.
Union County Conditions
Union County weather observer Dana Cross recorded a high temperature of 64 degrees on Jan. 11 in Jonesboro. The low for the month was 5 degrees below zero, which was recorded on Jan. 2.
Precipitation for the month totalled 2.15 inches. Snowfall totalled 4 inches.
Illinois: Colder, drier
January in Illinois was colder and drier than normal without much snow, according to Illinois state climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
The statewide average temperature was 24.1 degrees, 2.3 degrees below normal.
The month started with temperatures below zero, and then fluctuated between two unusually cold and unusually warm periods.
The warmest reading for the month was 68 degrees at Jerseyville on Jan. 22.
The coldest reading for the month was 24 degrees below zero at Morrison on Jan. 1.
The statewide average precipitation (rain and water content of snow) was only 1.31 inches, 0.76 of an inch below normal.
The largest precipitation total for the month was 4.07 inches at Rosiclare in Hardin County.
Most of the state received 1 to 1.5 inches of precipitation with drier patches in Northern and Western Illinois and much of Southern Illinois.
Overall, most of the state was within an inch of normal.
The largest snowfall total for the month was 9.3 inches, reported at both Lake Villa and Gurnee.
By the end of the month, little snow remained on the ground in Illinois and nearby states.
By the end of January, 54.9 percent of the state was either abnormally dry or in the early stages of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Although January was somewhat dry, especially in the region around St. Louis, the overall drought conditions are the result of many months of dryness.
In winter, drought conditions evolve very slowly with few demands on water supplies and soil moisture.