Weather Summary for January 2005

 

The new year certainly started off with a bang across the Quad State Region.  Unseasonably warm and wet weather dominated the first half of January, with average temperatures 4 to 8 degrees above normal (31 to 34 degrees).  The first half of January was also very wet, with higher than normal rainfall, but was followed by a very dry second half. 

 

The flooding of January 2005 began as a pre-holiday snow storm in December 2004.  On December 22, up to 2 feet of snow fell across the region.  Liquid water equivalents were 1 to 2 inches.  The record breaking snowfall was followed by several days of extreme cold.  The snow and cold were short-lived as temperatures soared into the 50s and 60s by the start of the New Year.  The snow melted rapidly creating wet soil conditions and quickly filling streams.  This began a significant period of river flooding that continued through much of January.

 

The first half of January was dominated by a warm southwesterly flow aloft.  At the surface, a stationary front over or just north of the region brought almost daily chances of showers between the 1st and 5th.  Total rainfall amounts for the entire event were significant, averaging between 3 and 4 inches.  This made the rises on area rivers jump higher and faster.   Numerous outlooks and watches were issued prior to the event.   The heaviest rains fell on the 5th, quickly pushing ditches and streams to capacity in moderate to locally heavy rainfall.  This prompted flood advisories for most of the 58 counties in the region, and two Flood Warnings for six counties in the far northeastern part of the region. 

 

Another nearly stationary front settled over the region between the 10th and 13th, producing more periods of rain.  Total rainfall amounts during this time averaged between 1 and 2 inches.  The heaviest rainfall fell to our north, across central Indiana into Ohio.  Again, numerous outlooks and watches were issued but due to the relatively light rain events spread out over several days, no advisories or warnings were issued for the region.  The water from this rain event to our north compounded existing flood problems in the Wabash and White River Basins, as it flowed south into the Quad State Region.

 

Cold high pressure settled over the region between the 14th and 18th.  A weak front sagged south of the region on the 20th and lifted back north before the main cold front passed on the 22nd.  Only light amounts of rain were recorded with even a few flurries.  Warm southerly winds brought above normal temperatures again for the 25th and 26th.  An upper level storm system passed over the region on the 28th and 29th, bringing periods of light rain and even some light mixed precipitation.  Rain amounts were less than one-half inch.

 

January Temperatures Across the Quad State Region

 

The following table (Figure 1) displays average January 2005 temperatures at five locations across the Quad State Region where this information is consistently collected. For comparison, historical average daily temperatures for January are also given for these locations. The Normal period used to calculate normal high, low, and average daily temperatures and rainfall is currently 1971 through 2000.

 

The high, low and average daily temperatures are averaged for all days of January 2005. Column 5 allows a comparison of the January 2005 average temperature to the highest and lowest January average temperatures recorded during the Normal Period (1971 through 2000). High and Low daily temperatures were not compared.

 

The last column indicates the difference of the January 2005 average temperature from the average temperature observed during the Normal Period, and the percentile of the January 2005 mean temperature compared to January mean temperatures during the Normal Period.

 

Percentile is the percentage of years during the Normal Period that had mean January temperatures equal to or below the 2005 mean temperature. In most cases, this is based on the entire 30-year Normal Period, but in some cases data was missing that only allowed comparison to 28 or 29 years of the Normal Period. 

 

Figure 1. January 2005 Daily Temperatures (F) Compared to January Normal Daily Temperatures Based on the Normal Period 1971-2000, at Five Quad State Region Locations.

(source: Midwest Regional Climate Center) 

 

 

 

Location

 

Temp >

Normal

2005

 

High

 

Low

 

Mean    

 

1971-2000 Range of Mean Temps *

(Normal Period)

 

2005 Deg from Mean

Percentile**

 

Carbondale

IL

 

Norm >

2005 >

 

39.7

45.6

 

21.0

31.0

 

30.6

38.6

 

max: 40.2 in 1990

min:  14.2 in 1977

 

+8.0 F

95

 

Cape Girardeau MO

 

Norm >

2005 >

 

40.5

46.2

 

23.8

32.2

 

32.4

39.4

 

max: 43.0 in 1990

min:  18.1 in 1977

 

+7.0

95

 

Evansville

IN

 

Norm >

2005 >

 

39.4

45.1

 

23.2

31.4

 

31.5

38.7

 

max: 41.9 in 1990

min:  14.8 in 1977

 

+7.2

92

 

Paducah

KY

 

Norm >

2005 >

 

42.2

47.7

 

25.0

33.2

 

33.9

41.0

 

max: 43.8 in 1990

min:  19.8 in 1977

 

+7.1

92

 

Poplar Bluff

MO

 

Norm >

2005 >

 

41.9

47.6

 

23.2

32.0

 

32.7

40.1

 

max: 40.9 in 1990

min:  20.3 in 1977

 

+7.4

90

* This column indicates the highest and lowest January mean temperatures observed during the Normal Period of 1971-2000.

** Percentile is calculated as percent of January temperatures during the normal period that were equal to or below the 2005 January average temperature.

 

As Figure 1 indicates, temperatures across the Quad State Region for the month of January were all well above normal. Average temperatures at all five locations were at least 7.0 degrees above normal, and all were in the 90th percentile or greater.

 

January Precipitation Across the Quad State Region

The next table (Figure 2) displays normal precipitation and the observed precipitation for January 2005. The historical time periods are the same as those in Figure 1. Frozen precipitation if any is not available from this data except as liquid equivalent, which is included in the total precipitation for the month. There were no significant snow events across the Quad State Region in January 2005.

 

Figure 2. January 2005 Observed Precipitation (inches) and January Normal Precipitation for Five Quad State Region Locations

 

Location

Normal**

Record***

2005

 

2005

Difference

Normal Range

(years 1971-2000)

Percentile*

(2005)

Carbondale

IL

3.03

17.13 in 1950

4.70

 

+1.67

max: 8.70 - 1982

min: 0.55 - 1981

91

Cape Girardeau

MO

3.27

11.83 in 1982

4.43

+1.16

max: 11.83 - 1982

min: 0.61 - 1986

84

Evansville

IN

2.91

14.78 in 1937

3.34

+0.43

max: 9.15 - 1982

min: 0.51 - 1981

65

 

Paducah

KY

3.47

14.13 in 1950

4.60

+1.13

max: 8.28 - 1982

min: 0.99 - 1987

85

 

Poplar Bluff

MO

2.96

12.12 in 1950

4.95

+1.99

max: 5.69 - 1999

min: 0.19 - 1986

92

* Percentile is the percentage of years during the Normal Period (1971-2000) that had

   total January precipitation equal to or below January 2005 (it ranges from zero to 100).

** Normal is average January precipitation during the Normal Period: 1971-2000

*** Record is the highest January precipitation for all years available at the location.

 

Precipitation was significantly above normal at all five of these locations, ranging from 0.43 inch above normal at Evansville (in the 65th percentile) to 1.99 inch above normal at Poplar Bluff (in the 92nd percentile).

 

Overall, January was much warmer and wetter than normal across the Quad State Region.


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