January 2020 Weather Recap: Mild, Dry, Largely Uneventful
January 2020 was the 11th mildest January on record (6.4 degrees above average). Only six days had below average temperatures; just one had a high of 32° or colder, joining 10 other years with either no such days or one. The month's highlight was the May-like temperatures during the second weekend of the month when record-setting highs of 69° and 68° were reached. The coldest reading was 20°, which happened on three days (January's coldest temperature is typically around 9°). Looking at precipitation, this was the driest January since 2002, with a little less than two inches measured (half the typical amount). As for snowfall, only 2.3" was measured (but double last January's total).
A typical January is five degrees colder than December, but January 2020 was 0.8 degrees warmer - the 31st time January has been milder than December; the previous time it happened was during the winter of 2006. Besides being slightly milder than December, its snowfall was a touch less as well (2.3" vs. 2.5"). Although the month had a minimal amount of snow, there have been 36 Januarys with smaller amounts.
Three consecutive Saturdays had very different conditions: Saturday, Jan. 11 had the mildest reading of the month (69°); Saturday, Jan. 18 had the biggest snowfall (2.1"); and Saturday, Jan. 25 had the biggest rainfall (0.85").
The month began with a continuation of a streak of above-average temperatures that began on Dec. 22 and continued thru Jan. 8. This 18-day streak equaled the longest above-average streak of 2018-19, which happened at roughly the same time of the year (12/20-1/6). Then, after one day with below average temperatures, there were seven more consecutive days with above average temperatures. The entire 26-day period from 12/22 thru 1/15 was ten degrees above average.
A streak of six days in a row with mean temperatures ten degrees or more above average (Jan. 10-15) was closely followed by six consecutive days with lows in the 20s (Jan. 17-22). Although this was far from frigid, it equaled last winter's longest streak with lows colder than 30°.
January continued the pattern of one month wet, the next month dry, a trend that started in September.
Finally, this January missed being among the ten mildest January's by the smallest of margins as it was 0.08° degrees chillier than January 1880 (39.15° vs. 39.23°). And although January 1880 had two days with lows in the teens (both were 17° readings) and its warmest temperature was four degrees cooler than this year, it had five more days with highs of 50°+ (14 vs. 9). Both years had nearly identical snowfall (2.3" in 2020, 2.5" in 1880) and precipitation (1.93" in 2020, 2.02" in 1880).
Here are analyses of the previous six Januarys:
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