January Stats & Our Next Storm

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Let’s start this out with an email I received yesterday concerning my blog talking about whether or nor there was a correlation between warm winters and hot summers.Take a look, it is from Mark in Independence. Also click here for the morning weather blog recapping the historic FEB 1st 2011 Blizzard that struck KC and surrounding areas.

“1952-1955 presents an interesting though non-conclusive correlation.

If I use SUMMER temps as my starting point rather than WINTER I have a continuum beginning in Summer 1952, followed by Winter 52/53, then an even warmer Summer

1953 that leads to Winter 53/54 which exceeded the previous Winter by .7 degrees.

Immediately following that the Summer of 1954 exceeds our starting point of Summer 1952 by a whopping 2.1 degrees.

So what does all of this mean? We can record history much more efficiently than we can predict the future.”

Thanks Mark for your thoughts on this.

Now more stats. Let’s talk January 2012. The average temperature for the month was 35.1°. that was 6.3° above average. It was even more extreme when just looking at high temperatures for the month. They were a whooping 8.8° above average!

Many may be wondering, as I did, how this JAN ranked in terms of warmest ever. In reality it wasn’t really even close!. The record was set just a few years ago in JAN 2006 when the average temperature 42.7° or 15.8°(!) above average. The average temperature for the month was 42.7°. Which was more than 7.5° warmer than what we just experienced. In essence I guess you can weirdly say that in JAN of 2006, it was twice as warm as the month we just experienced!!! The average high was 52.1°(!) Can you imagine. If your curious in FEB 2006 we were 2.3° above average and VERY dry (5th driest FRB on record).

So how did JAN 2012 fare in relation to previous January’s. As near as I can tell, it would come in around 14th or 15th. I have data for the Top 10 and here that is for your perusal.

1    42.7°    1/31/2006
2    42.4°    1/31/1933
3    39.0°    1/31/1923
4    38.5°    1/31/1939
5    38.2°    1/31/1931
6    37.9°    1/31/1990
7    37.7°    1/31/1989
8    37.3°    1/31/1921
9    37.1°    1/31/1964
10   36.3°    1/31/1914

It’s hard to imagine that it could be warmer, but it has been and by a considerable margin.

OK enough with the stats, let’s talk about our first decent storm since the middle part of the winter season. Right now it’s out across the western part of the country.


Eventually what is going to happen is that the energy associated with the storm will consolidate into an upper level storm that will develop and move slowly through the western Plains states over the next several days. As this occurs, copious gulf moisture will be brought into the circulation of the storm. While the surface storm will track well south of the region, and in a different year that would be promising for a lot of snow for us, with the upper level storm tracking well to our west and NW, the warm air aloft will ensure that the bulk of the storms precipitation will be rainfall for most, if not all of the viewing area.

This gulf moisture, combined with air that will be spreading apart in the upper part of the atmosphere (diffluence) will create a large area of rising motion from our region southwards. This means that the rain/t-storms that form in the southern Plains will be racing this way, in addition to whatever forms closer to home.

As I talked about yesterday, I think the bulk of the moisture from the storm will fall with the initial main batch of rainfall. Roughly from as early as Midnight-3AM FRI to Noon-3PM FRI PM. This will be because the storm will be getting so wrapped up that it will suck in drier air aloft from the SW of the region. This will cut off the moisture for the best rainfall and turn the decent rain into lighter showers and drizzle.

Here is a look at one of our later Microcast models showing the total rainfall through Saturday.


This, I’m sure will change but at this point .50″ -1.25″ is expected across a vast part of the viewing area, with the potential of more towards the SE of KC. I’ll post an updated forecast tomorrow afternoon.

There actually could be some severe weather across OK and TX associated with this, and there is even the risk of some tornadic storms across southern MO should conditions come together.Here is the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) forecast for tomorrow.


Finally on the colder side of the storm, snow may become a big issue for parts of the western Plains through the Rockies including the Denver area. Traveling westbound on I-70 or especially I-80 could be problematic. A number of counties/parts of states are under a Winter Storm Watch this afternoon, for the storm to hit later tomorrow. Take a look using this link.

Finally this afternoon, it’s Ground Hog Day tomorrow, clouds are expected in the PA area tomorrow AM when the furry rodent makes his much anticipated appearance. Since 2000 he has seen his shadow 9 times (meaning more Winter). Last year he did NOT see his shadow (meaning an early Spring). So with the clouds in the forecast my prediction on the Groundhog is that he will NOT see his shadow and an early Spring will be heralded. I really need to get a life!


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