From the ABC 7 Weather team

The Wild Week, And Month, of Weather That Was

February 2, 2013 - 05:00 AM
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January featured a mix bag of weather features.  D.C. had everything from record warmth to an arctic blast, heavy rain to the first snow. So how did this January compare to average?  

It was a wild January with temperature roller coasters, heavy rain, the first snow of the season, for some, and a true arctic blast.

With all of the ups and downs, the month ended 4.3 degrees above average.  Precipitation was below average by 0.28", but nearly half of the rain this January, at Reagan National, came from the end-of-the-month soaker with a strong cold front.

Satellite & Radar composite from January 30, 2013

Now other parts of the region received MUCH more rain with that same system, in fact, over the monthly rainfall at Reagan National.  I tapped into our WeatherBug network to find the highest rainfall totals from the January 30-31st rain storm. 

Rainfall totals January 30-31st

Ahead of that front, we had our warmest temperatures of the month.  The highest temperature of the month at Reagan was 72° on the 30th. No record at DCA, but Dulles' high of 72° broke the previous record of 70° back in 2002.   Keep in mind, our average high for the beginning of January is 43° and by the end of the month 44°. 

Not only did it feel like April in January, it also felt like the Midwest with a bitter blast that plunged into the region on the 22nd.  For four consecutive days, the temperature never climbed above freezing.  The lowest temperature over the entire month at Reagan was 15 degrees on the 23rd.  That was the coldest it had been in nearly 4 years.  The lowest temperature before then was on January 17th, 2009 with a low of 8 degrees.

And with the arctic air mass came some of the first snow of the season.  Snowfall in D.C. was 0.9", but there were certainly some higher amounts across the region.  Average January snowfall is 5.6", so this month was certainly well below average. 

Brianne Carter

We begin the month of February with unseasonably cool temperatures and snow.  Will this be the a colder and snowier than average month?  It's way too early to tell.  Looking back at January, there was a little bit of everything!  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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