A tale of two seasons
January 2007 was remarkable in Central Indiana as it started off with the unseasonable warmth, lack of snow, and over abundance of rainfall that had characterized the latter portion of 2006. By mid-month, a dramatic change came to pass as much colder air from northern Canada flooded much of the Midwest, including central Indiana. Temperatures finally felt more like winter, and snow returned to whiten the ground. By months end, temperatures were actually below normal for several days.
The following is a summary of the conditions experienced in Indianapolis during the month of January, 2007
January 2007 finished with an average monthly temperature of 32.5 degrees. This was above normal by exactly six degrees. The warmth all came during the first 15 days of the month, and cold weather that closed out the month was not nearly enough to balance out the extreme warmth. Three days registered an average temperature that was more than 20 degrees above normal. January 5th and 12th were both an astonishing 26 degrees above normal. All these days were part of a string of 37 consecutive days with average temperatures at or above normal in Indianapolis. This string began back on December 10, 2006.
While the last two weeks of the month certainly felt cool, in actuality many of the days were near or slightly above normal. Only 7 days during the month could be characterized as having temperatures below normal.
While no records were broken, January 5th was significant with a high of 57 and a low of 49 degrees. This occurred during what is typically the very coldest part of the year. The average temperature of 53 degrees that day was above normal by 26 degrees and is a temperature that would be considered average for the middle of April.
January 2007 began on an extremely soggy note, again this was a continuation of an unseasonable pattern that started in the middle of December. The month as a whole ended up with 4.41 inches of precipitation. This was above normal by 1.93 inches. Residents may remember the frequent heavy rainfalls that seemed to occur every few days. Remarkable rainfall events included 0.95 inches on January 5-6, and the four day soaker of January 12-15 that dropped 2.72 inches of rain in Indianapolis. The frequent heavy rain kept many rivers in central Indiana at high levels until the heavy rains of mid month pushed them into flood stage.
The pattern change around the 15th that brought the much colder temperatures also brought much drier conditions. From the 16th through the 31st, only 0.44 inches of precipitation fell in Indianapolis, compared to 3.97 inches that fell in the first 15 days of the month. The drier conditions allowed area rivers to finally subside to lower levels by the month’s end.
Overall, January of 2007 was the 24th wettest January on record.
Snow was extremely hard to come by during the first half of the month, and then seemed to happen nearly every day in the last few weeks of January. The first 15 days of the month only saw a Trace of snow, followed by 5.8 inches during the last two weeks. This monthly total of 5.8 inches was below normal by 3.5 inches. From the 16th through the 31st of the month, only 3 days did not report at least a Trace of snowfall.
One snowfall record was broken this month. The daily snowfall of 3.5 inches on January 21st set the daily record. The previous record for January 21 was 2.5 inches in 1922.
To date, the 2006-2007 snowfall season has brought a mere 6.7 inches in Indianapolis. Through the end of January, this is the least amount of snow to start a season since 2001-2002 saw just 5.3 inches by the end of January.
The outlook for February indicates a slightly enhanced likelihood of below normal temperatures for the month. The precipitation outlook indicates a slightly enhanced likelihood of below normal precipitation amounts for February.
Data Prepared by Logan Johnson, Climate Services Focal Point
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Temperature and Precipitation Records Cover 1871-2006 in the Indianapolis Area.
Snowfall Records Cover the period 1884-2006 in the Indianapolis Area.
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