January 2012; Warm Thus Far, Unprecedented? Changing?

If you thought that it has been a long time since since eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa has experienced a mild January, you'd be wrong.  Just 6 years ago Omaha, Lincoln and Norfolk all had their warmest January on record, some 15 degrees above normal.  Below are some of the numbers.

Januray 2006 Average Temperature Degrees Above Normal Temperature Ranking for all Januarys Highest During the Month Lowest During the Month Days 50s or Warmer Days 60s or Warmer 
Omaha 36.7 15.0 1st 65 18 12 2
Lincoln 36.7 14.3 Tied for 1st 69 14 16 6
Norfolk 36.6 16.2 1st 70 15 14 4

That being said, temperatures for the first 10 days of January 2012 averaged 36.2, 34.9 and 36.6 degrees in Omaha, Lincoln and Norfolk respectively.  This was not only much warmer than normal but also a little warmer than the first 10 days of 2006.  It also ranked at least in the top 10 at each site for the warmest first 10 days of the month, and in Norfolk's case the 3rd warmest.  A strong cold front that pushed into the region Wednesday morning will be bringing much colder temperatures to the area the next few days, with readings on Thursday and probably even Friday dropping below normal.  The mild pattern of the first 10 days of the month is forecast to change to a slightly more winter-like one for the next week and possibly longer.  Thus the odds were beginning to tilt toward near or slightly below normal temperatures, with cooler mild periods punctuated by stronger cold fronts.  However, until the general lack of significant snow cover over the plains changes, cold air plunges will continue to moderate quicker than is usually the case this time of year.  So the jury is still out on exactly how cold for how long as the month unfolds.


The 6 to 10 Day Outlook January 16-20th.


6 to 10 Day Outlook - Temperature Probability


Below was the snow cover observed at 6am on January 10th.



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