The first month of the year started with much below normal temperatures after a snow storm exited southwest Kansas around New Year’s Eve. Temperatures barely rose above freezing during the first week. The second week of January had much warmer air arriving and with the change there was a round of rain that spread across much of southwest and south central Kansas. Amounts averaged around a third of an inch but up to three quarters of an inch fell near the Oklahoma border in Clark County. Another storm moved across southwest Kansas on the 29th bringing 1 to 3 inches of snow.
For January, at the Dodge City airport, 0.48 inches of moisture was observed, which is slightly less than the normal amount of 0.58 inches. Snowfall for the month was below normal with 2.2 inches measured. Normal snowfall is 4.9 inches at Dodge City. So far for the season there has been just a little over 9 inches of snow measured at the airport.
The average temperature for January was 33.0 degrees, which is 0.8 degrees above normal. This makes the 3rd month in a row of above normal temperatures. The warmest reading for January was 72 degrees and that occurred on the 28th while the coldest temperature was measured on the 4th when the mercury fell to 6. It should be noted that the mercury has not fallen to zero since February, 2011 at the airport. There was one record established at the Dodge City airport during January. The mercury dropped no lower than 37 degrees on the 27th, establishing a record high minimum temperature for the date
Even though there were a couple of windy days, the average wind speed for
January at the airport was 10.8 MPH, well below the normal of 12.6 MPH. This is the 6th month in a row of below normal wind speeds.
Looking ahead, the weather for February may be very similar to what occurred in January. There will be several more decent opportunities for precipitation, both in the form of rain and also snow which should bring at least near normal precipitation to southwest Kansas. However, keep in mind the normal is only 0.68 inches. Temperatures will once again make wild swings with some very mild days expected but also there should be several Arctic intrusions which will make most folks long for the coming spring warmth.