Jan. 2013: Detailed Weather and Climate Review For The NWS Hastings Coverage Area

(Click on the links in gray boxes below to quickly jump to information located farther down the page)

Monthly Narrative

Tri-Cities & Ord Details
& Monthly Extremes
Graphs, Tables, Maps, Severe
Weather Reports
Drought Monitor Graphics

Monthly Precipitation & Snowfall Tables & Archive of These Monthly Reviews

* Please Note: All climate data presented here are preliminary and have not undergone final quality control by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Therefore, these data are subject to revision. Final and certified climate data can be accessed at: WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV

 January 2013 Weather Web Stories
(Click HERE for archive to all web stories)

January 29-30: Widespread 2-5 Inches of Snow in Southern/Eastern Areas


January 2013 Climate And Weather Review For South Central Nebraska 
And Portions Of North Central Kansas

...A Large North-South Difference In Precipitation/Snowfall...But Fairly "Typical" Temperatures...

The following narrative focuses on climate and weather highlights for the month of January 2013 across the NWS Hastings coverage area, encompassing 24 counties in south central and central Nebraska, and 6 counties in north central Kansas. Click HERE for a map of this coverage area. The temperature and precipitation data presented here are largely based on the NWS Cooperative Observer network, along with data from a handful of automated airport sites. All climate averages and "normals" presented here are based on the official NCDC 1981-2010 normals.

 - TEMPERATURES....(According to 30-year averages, "normal" January high temperatures range from 35-38° across northern portions of the area generally north of Interstate 80, and from 36-41° across southern portions of the area including North Central Kansas. Low temperatures typically average between 10-15° across the northern half of the area, and 14-18° in southern counties.)

Unlike January 2012, which featured well-above normal temperatures, there was nothing all that "remarkable" about the overall monthly mean temperatures (resulting from averaging both the highs and lows) in January 2013. For the most part, it was a fairly "typical" January as nearly the entire area finished within 1.5° either side of normal. Although there were the usual ups-and-downs throughout the month as high temperatures fluctuated mainly between the 20s and the 50s, there were no pronounced or long-lasting spells of noteworthy cold or warmth. Attesting to the rather "even-keel" month, the Grand Island airport recorded an above normal daily mean temperature on 16 days and a below normal daily mean on the other 15...resulting in a nearly even-split. In general, there were two brief multiple-day stretches of seasonably warm weather during the month, one focused between the 16th-19th and the other between the 25th-28th. The 28th was a unique temperature day across the region, as low clouds held the majority of the NWS Hastings coverage area down between the upper-30s and lower-50s, while the majority of Kansas soared into the 70s under widespread sunshine. Within the local area, only southern parts of Rooks, Osborne and Mitchell counties experienced these very warm readings. For the area as a whole, the 19th stood out as one of the mildest days of the month, as nearly all counties climbed well into the mid-upper 50s. On the opposite side of things, there were also two fairly brief stretches of seasonably cold weather with highs averaging in the 20s for most of the area, one centered between the 12th-14th and the other between the 20th-22nd. The 21st featured some of the coldest daytime temperatures of the month, as the majority of South Central Nebraska only managed afternoon readings between 10-20°. The month also ended on a rather cold note on the 31st, with high temperatures only between 17-25° across most of the area.

Per NWS cooperative observers and a few automated airport sites, some of the warmest temperatures of the month within the 30-county area included 70° near Plainville KS on the 28th, 63° at Beloit KS on the 27th, and 61° at the Ord airport (on the 18th) and Hebron (on the 19th). As for daily low temperatures, most of the 30-county area observed its coldest readings on the 14th, highlighted by -7° at Ord airport, -4° at Cambridge and -3° at Gothenburg and Beaver City. In the Nebraska Tri-Cities, both Grand Island and Kearney airports tied for the warmest reading of the month with 55° on the 19th, while Kearney notched the coldest reading with 1° on the 14th. 

(Please look farther down the page for more information on January 2013 temperatures and extremes, including detailed breakdowns for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord)


- PRECIPITATION/SNOWFALL
...(According to 30-year averages, "normal" January precipitation (rainfall and snow liquid equivalent) across most of the 30-county area ranges somewhere between 0.40-inch and 0.70-inch, with the highest amounts favoring eastern areas closest to the Highway 81 corridor such as York, Hebron and Beloit. Normal January snowfall ranges from 5-7 inches across most of South Central Nebraska, and 3-5 inches in North Central Kansas.)

* Please note: Because most NWS cooperative observers report precipitation for a 24-hour period ending around 7 AM (instead of midnight), most of the precipitation and snowfall totals from the December 31, 2012, storm that struck southern portions of the area were reported on Jan. 1, 2013, and thus are associated with January 2013 data instead of December 2012 data. 
 
Including precipitation/snow that fell on Dec. 31, 2012 (see explanation in blue text above), official January 2013 precipitation totals across the 30-county area varied widely, with most southern counties (especially North Central Kansas) finishing well above normal and most places north of Interstate 80 in Nebraska at least slightly below normal. The main reason for this north-to-south variance involved two decent snow events that targeted southern areas, one that generally dropped 4-8" on Dec. 31st and another nearly a month later that accumulated 2-5" between Jan. 29th-30th. During both of these events, locations generally north of an Elwood-Hastings-York Nebraska received very little, if any snowfall. In these northern areas that remained essentially snow-free during the month, most of the limited January precipitation was associated with a few light rain events on the 10th and/or 27th. 

Based on reports from around 65 NWS Cooperative Observers and a few automated airport gauges,
and also incorporating radar-derived estimation, roughly 60% of the 30-county area observed below normal precipitation during the month, while the remaining 40% of the area was above normal. On the wetter/snowier side of things, parts of North Central Kansas, along with primarily Thayer and Nuckolls counties in South Central Nebraska, observed around twice normal January precipitation amounts, highlighted by totals of 1.36" at Covert KS, 1.19" at Mankato KS, 1.13" at Hebron and 1.09" at Natoma KS. On the much drier side of things in northern/western portions of South Central Nebraska were: Cozad (0.01"), Arcadia (0.11"), Osceola and Belgrade (0.12") and Gothenburg (0.13"). At Grand Island, the monthly total of 0.16" resulted in a tie for the 20th-driest January on record out of 118 years. In between these wet and dry extremes, most of the 30-county area measured somewhere between 0.20" and 0.80", including places such as Cambridge, Holdrege, Hastings, York, Red Cloud, and Smith Center KS.  Following along the same lines as liquid precipitation equivalent, monthly snowfall totals ranged from only a non-measurable trace in northern/western spots such as Arcadia, Cozad and St. Paul, to much higher totals in southern locations such as Covert KS (13.5"), Hunter KS (11.0"), Hubbell (10.0") and near Superior (10.0").

Because the majority of the 30-county area observed above normal precipitation during December 2012, the first two months of the meteorological winter season combined to feature above normal precipitation, with the notable exception of drier areas focused mainly northwest of a line from Lexington to Greeley. However, even this recent above-normal precipitation trend has done little to ease serious drought conditions given that winter precipitation from melted snow provides only a small fraction of normal annual precipitation. 

(Please look farther down the page for more information on January 2013 precipitation and extremes, including rankings of wettest and driest locations, percent-of-normal plots, and a detailed breakdown for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord. In addition, the link on the far upper right of this page contains an archive of monthly precipitation amounts for around 65 locations.)


- DROUGHT STATUS...Compared to the issuance on Jan. 1, 2013, the U.S. Drought Monitor as of Jan. 29, 2013 (images at bottom of page) reflected essentially no change whatsoever in official drought classification across the 30-county area, continuing one of the worst droughts in many decades that began during the spring/summer of 2012.  Despite above normal precipitation across southeast portions of the area in January (especially north central Kansas), one must keep in mind that even a significant winter storm provides only a small fraction of the liquid moisture needed to ease serious drought conditions. Along these same lines, all precipitation that normally falls during the meteorological winter season of December-February only accounts for less than 10% of total annual precipitation. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a little over half of the 30-county area remained in Category D4 Exceptional Drought through the month, the worst-possible category, while several counties mainly within the southeast quadrant of the coverage area remained in Category D3 Extreme Drought. Only parts of three counties in far southeast sections of the area (Thayer, Jewell and Mitchell) continued to be assigned the somewhat "less significant" Category D2 Severe Drought. Looking beyond the borders of the 30-county NWS Hastings coverage area, around 96% of Nebraska and 80% of Kansas was mired in Extreme or Exceptional Drought as of January 29th.

(For MUCH MORE detail about the drought situation, please refer to the latest Drought Information Statement from NWS Hastings, and also the U.S. Drought Monitor graphics toward the bottom of this page)


- SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS/HIGH WINDS...There were no severe thunderstorms during the month, and no noteworthy high wind events.

- Number of Severe Thunderstorm Warning polygons issued by NWS Hastings in January 2013:
ZERO (Same as last year...last warnings issued in January were on Jan. 28, 2006)
- Number of Tornado Warning polygons issued by NWS Hastings in January 2013: ZERO (Same as last year)
- Number of confirmed tornadoes within the NWS Hastings coverage area in January 2013: ZERO

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January 2013 Climate Details For Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord...Along With Temperature and Rainfall Extremes For NWS Cooperative Observer and Automated Airport Sites

Click on the links below for January 2013 climate summaries specifically for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord

Grand Island     Hastings     Kearney      Ord

...JANUARY 2013 TEMPERATURE/PRECIPITATION/SNOWFALL EXTREMES FROM
NWS HASTINGS COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS OR AUTOMATED ASOS/AWOS SITES...

...A FEW OF THE WARMEST HIGH TEMPERATURES DURING JANUARY 2013
(All reports are from Cooperative Observers unless otherwise specified)
70 degrees...Plainville KS (4 miles WNW) on the 28th
63 degrees...Beloit KS on the 27th
61 degrees...Ord airport ASOS on the 18th...Hebron on the 19th
60 degrees...Alton KS (2 miles SW), Gothenburg on the 18th
59 degrees...Greeley on the 18th...Superior (4 miles E) on the 19th...Lexington airport on the 18th 
58 degrees...Beaver City, Cambridge on the 26th...Smith Center KS, Edison on the 19th 

...A FEW OF THE COLDEST LOW TEMPERATURES DURING JANUARY 2013
(All reports are from Cooperative Observers and occurred on the 14th unless otherwise specified)
-7 degrees...Ord airport ASOS
-4 degrees...Cambridge
-3 degrees...Gothenburg...Beaver City
-2 degrees...Greeley
-1 degrees...Minden on the 13th and 14th...Alton KS (2 miles SW) on the 4th...Franklin on the 4th and 5th

...A FEW OF THE HIGHEST PRECIPITATION/SNOW LIQUID EQUIVALENT TOTALS DURING JANUARY 2013
(All reports are from Cooperative Observers unless otherwise specified, and may include precipitation from Dec. 31, 2012 snow event)
1.36 inches...Covert KS in Osborne County
1.19 inches...Mankato KS in Jewell County
1.17 inches...Lovewell Dam KS in Jewell County
1.13 inches...Hebron in Thayer County
1.09 inches...Natoma KS in Osborne County
1.06 inches...Alton KS (2 miles SW) in Osborne County
1.05 inches...Superior (4 miles E) in Nuckolls County
1.04 inches...Bruning in Thayer County...Glen Elder Dam KS in Mitchell County
0.98 inches...Plainville KS (4 miles WNW) in Rooks County

...A FEW OF THE LOWEST PRECIPITATION /SNOW LIQUID EQUIVALENT TOTALS DURING JANUARY 2013

(All reports are from Cooperative Observers unless otherwise specified)
0.01 inches...Cozad in Dawson County
0.06 inches...Canaday Steam Plant in far northern Gosper County
0.11 inches...Arcadia in Valley County
0.12 inches...Osceola in Polk County...Belgrade in Nance County
0.13 inches...Gothenburg in Dawson County
0.14 inches...Kearney airport in Buffalo County...Ord airport in Valley County...Oxford (6 miles NNW) in Furnas County
0.16 inches...Fullerton in Nance County...Elwood (8 miles S) in Gosper County
0.17 inches...Miller in Buffalo County

...A FEW OF THE HIGHEST SNOWFALL TOTALS DURING JANUARY 2013
(All reports are from Cooperative Observers, and may include snowfall from Dec. 31, 2012 snow event)
13.5 inches...Covert KS in Osborne County
11.0 inches...Hunter KS in Mitchell County
10.0 inches...Hubbell in Thayer County...Superior (4 miles E) in Nuckolls County...Natoma KS in Osborne County
9.5 inches...Burr Oak KS in Jewell County...Lovewell Dam KS in Jewell County...Cawker City KS in Mitchell County
9.0 inches...Nelson in Nuckolls County...Mankato KS in Jewell County...Phillipsburg KS in Phillips County
8.7 inches...Plainville KS (4 miles WNW) in Rooks County...Webster Dam in Rooks County
8.6 inches...Lebanon KS in Smith County
8.0 inches...Alton KS (2 miles SW) in Osborne County...Red Cloud in Webster County...Bruning in Thayer County

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Various graphs and tables depicting January 2013 climate data for 
South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas:

* Please Note: These data are preliminary and have not undergone final quality control by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Therefore, these data are subject to revision. Final and certified climate data can be accessed at WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV

Click Each Graph To Go To Monthly Temp/Precip Summary Pages
Grand Island Temperature Summary: Observed daily
maximum and minimum temperatures are connected by blue
bars. Area between normal maximum and minimum temperatures
is shaded green. Red bars connect record high temperatures. Blue
bars connect record low temperatures.
Hastings Temperature Summary: Observed daily maximum
and minimum temperatures are connected by blue bars. Area
between normal maximum and minimum temperatures is shaded
green. Red bars connect record high temperatures. Blue bars
connect record low temperatures.

 

Click Images To Enlarge
Grand Island Precipitation Summary: Blue line indicates cumulative observed precipitation for January 2013. Red line indicates "normal" December precipitation based on 30-year data from 1981-2010. Hastings Precipitation Summary: Blue line indicates cumulative observed precipitation for January 2013. Red line indicates "normal" December precipitation based on 30-year data from 1981-2010.

 

Grand Island (Regional Airport) - Jan. 2012 - Jan. 2013
  Jan. 2012 Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan.
Average High (F) 45.1 40.9 69.2 69.1 80.9 88.7 96.0 88.7 83.1 63.4 55.7 39.6 35.9
Average Low (F) 19.4 19.3 39.0 43.0 52.5 62.6 68.9 61.0 50.0 37.2 28.5 17.4 16.8
Average Temperature (F) 32.2 30.1 54.1 56.2 66.7 75.7 82.4 74.8 66.5 50.3 42.1 28.5 26.4
Departure from Normal (F) +7.1 +1.0 +14.7 +5.6 +5.5 +4.4 +6.2 +0.8 +1.4 -1.9 +4.0 +1.8 +1.3
 
Precipitation (inches) 0.16 1.05 0.83 1.41 2.29 1.27 0.16 0.94 0.47 0.78 0.53 1.66 0.16
Departure from Normal -0.37 +0.37 -0.97 -1.12 -2.12 -3.03 -3.24 -2.18 -1.76 -1.08 -0.64 +1.03 -0.37
 
Snowfall (inches) 1.6 10.2 Trace 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Trace 0.3 9.5 0.6
Departure from Normal -4.9 +3.9 -5.4 -1.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 -0.1 -1.0 -2.8 +4.4 -5.9

 

Hastings (Municipal Airport) - Jan. 2012 - Jan. 2013
  Jan. 2012 Feb. Mar. Apr. May June Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan.
Average High (F) 44.4 40.7 68.2 67.6 78.9 86.7 94.1 86.0 80.5 62.1 55.2 38.8 33.8
Average Low (F) 19.0 20.0 38.5 43.5 53.4 62.4 68.4 60.3 49.7 36.9 27.8 16.7 15.5
Average Temperature (F) 31.7 30.3 53.3 55.5 66.1 74.6 81.3 73.1 65.1 49.5 41.5 27.8 24.7
Departure from Normal (F) +5.7 +0.4 +13.4 +4.8 +4.8 +2.8 +4.2 -1.2 -0.5 -3.1 +2.8 +0.2 -1.3
 
Precipitation (inches) 0.14 1.67 0.86 2.95 4.07 2.35 1.64 2.39 0.59 1.46 0.66 1.69 0.32
Departure from Normal -0.27 +1.18 -0.93 +0.39 -0.50 -1.45 -2.10 -0.91 -1.97 -0.53 -0.63 +1.08 -0.09
 
Snowfall NWS Office (inches) 1.7 11.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Trace 0.3 10.5 2.5
Departure from Normal -4.3 +4.9 -5.2 -1.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 -0.2 -1.0 -2.3 +4.4 -3.5

 

Kearney (Regional Airport) - Jan. 2012 - Jan. 2013
(*Temperature data is from unofficial automated AWOS sensor while precipitation data is from official NWS Cooperative Observer)
  Jan. 2012 Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan.
Average High (F)* 44.7 40.7 68.0 67.3 78.4 87.1 94.8 87.0 81.6 62.8 55.9 40.2 35.6
Average Low (F)* 18.5 19.3 37.8 43.4 51.9 61.5 66.3 59.4 49.0 35.1 25.9 15.7 15.4
Average Temperature (F)* 31.6 30.0 52.9 55.4 65.2 74.3 80.6 73.2 65.3 49.0 40.9 28.0 25.5
Departure from Normal (F)* +7.0 +1.9 +15.2 +6.7 +5.7 +4.5 +5.9 +0.6 +1.8 -1.9 +3.9 +2.1 +0.9
 
Precipitation (inches) 0.03 1.04 1.02 4.35 2.00 1.62 0.58 1.45 0.54 0.58 Trace 0.61 0.14
Departure from Normal -0.46 +0.49 -0.77 +2.12 -2.18 -2.31 -2.70 -1.63 -1.53 -1.46 -1.02 +0.04 -0.35
 
Snowfall (inches) Trace 7.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Trace Trace 7.2 1.2
Departure from Normal -4.4 +1.9 -4.6 -1.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 -0.2 -0.7 -3.1 +3.7 -3.2

 

Ord (Evelyn Sharp Field Airport) - Jan. 2012 - Jan. 2013
(*Winter precipitation data may include coop observer reports due to automated airport equipment under-measuring snowfall liquid equivalent)
  Jan. 2012 Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan.
Average High (F) 45.0 40.2 67.7 65.0 75.8 88.2 96.9 89.0 82.2 62.5 52.4 39.7 38.3
Average Low (F) 15.6 15.7 34.1 38.8 48.3 59.4 64.5 57.4 43.9 31.6 21.2 12.2 12.0
Average Temperature (F) 30.3 27.9 50.9 51.9 62.0 73.8 80.7 73.2 63.0 47.1 36.8 25.9 25.2
Departure from Normal (F) +5.7 +0.1 +13.2 +3.1 +2.7 +4.6 +6.3 +0.2 -0.6 -2.5 +0.5 +1.0 +0.6
 
Precipitation (inches)* 0.13 1.30 0.67 5.29 2.26 0.33 0.15 0.79 0.13 0.32 0.12 0.35 0.14
Departure from Normal -0.24 +0.86 -0.78 +2.70 -1.55 -3.79 -2.82 -2.37 -2.31 -1.61 -0.95 -0.24 -0.23
 
Snowfall (Coop Observer) 1.5 8.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.5 1.5 5.0 0.5
Departure from Normal -5.3 +2.0 -5.9 -2.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 +1.4 -3.8 -2.4 -6.3

 

Smith Center, KS (Cooperative Observer) - Jan. 2012 - Jan. 2013
(*All data from coop observer with daily 24-hour obs taken around 7 AM. As a result, data may vary slightly from true "calendar day" averages)
  Jan. 2012 Feb. Mar. April May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan.
Average High (F)* 47.1 45.8 70.5 70.6 83.5 94.2 100.4 89.9 83.6 65.4 60.2 42.7 37.8
Average Low (F)* 18.5 20.6 38.3 44.4 53.0 62.6 69.4 60.5 51.0 37.2 27.8 18.4 14.8
Average Temperature (F)* 32.8 33.2 54.4 57.5 68.3 78.4 84.9 75.2 67.3 51.3 44.0 30.6 26.3
Departure from Normal (F)* +5.1 +1.2 +12.8 +5.0 +4.6 +4.4 +5.2 -2.0 -0.9 -3.5 +3.6 +1.8 -1.4
 
Precipitation (inches) 0.13 1.31 1.28 2.78 0.14 1.61 1.00 2.75 0.41 1.14 0.36 1.11 0.77
Departure from Normal -0.36 +0.73 -0.59 +0.51 -3.78 -2.00 -2.87 -0.55 -1.63 -0.74 -0.86 +0.45 +0.28
 
Snowfall (inches) Trace 4.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.2 7.6
Departure from Normal -3.7 +0.5 -2.6 -0.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 -0.2 -0.4 -1.8 +2.0 +3.9

 

Most of the following images depicting January 2013 Precipitation and Temperatures are courtesy of the High Plains Regional Climate Center:

* Please note: These maps are a "best-approximation" of actual measured values, and data reflected on these maps may not exactly match actual values due to the effects of interpolation and "smoothing" used to create the maps. In addition, some "bullseyes" may be a result of missing data.

Click Images To Enlarge

Nebraska: January 2013
Measured Precipitation (Inches)
Kansas: January 2013
Measured Precipitation (Inches)
Nebraska: January 2013 Percent of Normal Measured Precip. Kansas: January 2013 Percent
of Normal Measured Precip.
 
NWS Hastings Area: January 2013 Total "Observed" Precipitation
Based On AHPS Precipitation Analysis Including Radar Data

While the precipitation images above are based strictly on gauge-measured data, this image on the left utilizes an "Observed" multisensor approach created by River Forecast Centers. Hourly precipitation estimates from WSR-88D NEXRAD radar are compared to ground rainfall gauge reports, and a bias (correction factor) is calculated and applied to the radar field. For much more information on these types of images, and to create your own precipitation maps, please visit the following site: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge2/
RFC_Precip/index.php?site=gid

   
Nebraska: January 2013  Temperature Departure 
from Normal (F)
Kansas: January 2013
Temperature Departure 
from Normal (F)

 


 

The following drought status images, current as of January 29, 2013, are courtesy of the U.S. Drought Monitor (see narrative above for more details):

Click Images To Enlarge 

Nebraska - U.S. Drought Monitor as of January 29, 2013 Kansas - U.S. Drought Monitor as of January 29, 2013

 


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For more climate related information, check out the following websites:

This page was composed by the staff at the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.



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