January temperatures above normal, reports say

January 3.4 degrees hotter

Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 12:39 PM
Last updated 9:57 PM
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The average temperature in January as recorded at the Augusta Regional Airport, was 3.4 degrees above the normal average of 45.4 degrees, according to Nyasha Dunkley, Georgia’s deputy climatologist.

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.

WEEKEND FORECAST

A strong cold front moving into the Augusta area Friday night will bring frigid temperatures and windy conditions for the weekend, said meterologist Jeff Linton with the National Weather Service in Columbia.

Today will warm only to the low 40s. Skies will be sunny and clear with winds 15 to 20 mph, Linton said.

Overnight lows for today and Sunday will be in the lower 20s. Sunday’s high temperature should be in the upper 40s.

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