January temperatures were above normal for much of Georgia because of a La Nina pattern, which weather experts predicted earlier in the winter season.
“Temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are cooler than we normally see,” Dunkley said. “That generally causes a slightly higher temperature, so we are in line with that projection.”
Precipiation levels also were off the normal mark, with just 1.4 inches of rain last month.
The rainfall amount was 2.51 inches below normal, Dunkley said.
More than half of the rain came in a 24-hour period when .82 inches were measured from a storm system that moved through Augusta on Jan. 21.
From April 2011 through January, only 18.93 inches of rain were recorded in Augusta. That’s 54 percent of the normal 34.56 inches.
Augusta experienced its sixth-warmest year on record in 2011, with an average temperature of 65.4 degrees. Atlanta’s year ranked third-warmest and Savannah’ was fifth-warmest, according to Dunkley.
A report from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration ranked January as the fourth-warmest on record for the contiguous United States. The average was 36.3 degrees, or 5.5 degrees above normal.