<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> January 2006 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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January 2006 is Warmest January in Saint Cloud History by Far!

January Thaw? When Were We Cold!

Saint Cloud just finished the warmest January since temperature records began in 1881. The average temperature of 25.5°F was 16.7°F above normal and beat the previous warmest January (1944) by 2.7°F. This past month was considerably warmer than recent warm Januaries such as 1990 (22.0°F;3rd warmest) and 2002 (21.2°F; tied for 5th warmest). The 16.7°F above normal makes January 2006 as the month that had the largest departure from normal on the warm side in Saint Cloud records.

While January 2006 basked in some very warm high temperatures, a large reason for the record warm January was the very warm low temperatures. The January average high of 32.7°F was 14.1°F above normal and ranked as the second warmest average January high temperature, only ranking behind the January 1990 average high of 33.1°F. However, the persistent low clouds and moisture, especially during the first half of January, ended up being the most abnormal temperature statistic for January. The overall January average low was 18.2°F; an incredible 19.4°F above normal. The January 2006 average low temperature was 5°F warmer than the previous warm January low of 13.2°F, set in 1944.

The ultimate irony is that many of the temperature statistics cooled a bit during the second half of the month. Those persistent clouds and fog during the first half of the month produced an average low temperature of 21.2°F. More frequent dry, if not cold, air masses produced some clear, cool nights during the second half of the month during which the only three low temperatures in the single digits occurred. While much of Minnesota to our south went through a rare January with no low temperature of 0°F or colder, the mercury did drop to -2°F on January 23. Still, this ranks as the first January in 98 years with so few low temperatures of 0°F or colder. The only Januaries that never brushed the zero-degree mark in Saint Cloud were 1904 and 1908. In a normal January, there are 16 days with a low of 0°F or colder.

The high temperatures were fairly consistent throughout the month, with the "cool period" of January 17-22 when the high temperature didn't break 30. The closest high temperature to normal was on January 17th when the high temperature was 20 degrees. Other than this period, 23 of the 25 January highs were at least 30 degrees or higher. Still, the January average temperature never was lower than 1.8°F warmer than any other January in Saint Cloud history.

For the record, the normal average January temperatures are a high of 18.6°F and a low of -1.2°F. Instead, the January 2006 average temperatures (32.7°F high, 18.2°F low) would have been normal for the second week of March or the last 10 days of November. So, we basically had either Thanksgiving or Saint Patrick's Day weather for most of January.

Every day of January had an above normal average temperature. In fact, Saint Cloud is now on a streak of 41 consecutive days with above normal temperatures. The last below normal day was December 21. This is the fifth longest streak of consecutive above normal days in Saint Cloud records. The longest streak was 53 days, set in July through September of 1900. I don't if we will get to the record, but there are definitely more warmer than normal days coming this week.

A major contributor to our warm conditions was our sunless streak of late December into the first week of January. During the period of December 24 through January 3, Saint Cloud had 11 consecutive days without sunshine. The streak was ended between 12:55 and 1:00 PM on January 4 when the sun briefly broke out after a snow shower. The low clouds didn't break for good until the afternoon of January 6. The longest sunless streak in Saint Cloud history was 15 days in late December and early January of 1991-1992. The sunless streak really helped the mild temperatures since temperatures did not fall below 28 degrees during this streak, pushing average temperatures to nearly 30 degrees above normal during the sunless period.

On the non-temperature front, January 2006 was an extremely dry and snowless month...until last night. Through the first 30 days of the month, Saint Cloud Airport was on pace to be the 11th driest and have the 12th lowest snowfall total. However, the snow that fell before midnight last night, nearly doubled both the liquid precipitation and snowfall for January. Saint Cloud still ended up with only 0.34 inch of liquid precipitation, less than half of the normal amount, and 3.8 inches of snow, about one-third of the normal total.

  The warm and dry conditions this January were created by a mainly west-to-east steering winds. The air sinking down the mountains warms it up considerably. In addition, the storm track for most of January was along the southern US, keeping the available moisture to our south. So, while we had a fair share of storms, they were severely lacking moisture. So, unless we got hit by the center of a narrow snow band, as did Albany, Belgrade, Holdingford, and Little Falls during the snowstorm of January 19th, few storms were able to produce very much precipitation.

There was cold winter air that moved from the North Pole to northern and central Alaska and northwestern Canada for a good chunk of the month, but the west-to-east weather pattern did not allow the cold air to get out of the Canadian Northwest Territories. Some of the usual arctic air has backed into eastern Europe from Siberia during the past week, producing near record cold and snow in places like Moscow.

Now, the long-range forecast does show the colder air from northwest Canada being pulled over eastern Canada and has us getting to at least normally cold weather by early next week. However, this all depends on the development of a huge storm over the Great Lakes during the weekend. At this point, this storm would be far enough to our east to produce little precipitation in Minnesota (if I took the model output literally, Detroit traffic going in and out of the Super Bowl would be snarled by a major snowstorm). However, the computers have been predicting a series of major storms in or near North America for the past several days. So far, the computers are only one of two, so I don't have much confidence in any of the forecast, including the Super Bowl blizzard in Detroit and the major cold push for next week).

    

    January 2006 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
January 2006
Normal
January Average High Temperature (°F)
32.7
18.6
January Average Low Temperature (°F)
18.2*
-1.2
Mean Temperature for January (°F)
25.5**
8.7

*Warmest January Average Low Temperature in Saint Cloud History

**Warmest January Average Temperature in Saint Cloud Records (1881-2006)

10 Warmest Januaries in Saint Cloud

January Extremes

Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for January 2006 (°F)
44
January 26th
Coldest High Temperature for January 2006 (°F)
20
January 17th
Warmest Low Temperature for January 2006 (°F)

32

(tied record; see below)

January 3rd
Coldest Low Temperature for January 2006 (°F)
-2
January 16th
Record Temperatures in January 2006
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
Record Warm Daily Low
30 (tie)
January 2
Record set in 1964, 1992
Record Warm Daily Low
32 (tie)
January 3
Record set in 1992
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
January 2006 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
16
23.5
January 2006 Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F
0
2.6
January 2006 Days with High Temperatures <= -10°F
0
0.5
January 2006 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F
31
30.9
January 2006 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F
1
15.9
Cold-Season 2006 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F
9
27.3
January 2006 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F
0
2.9
January 2006 Days with Low Temperatures <= -30°F
0
0.4
Precipitation (in)
January 2006
Normal
January 2006 Precipitation (in)
0.34
0.76
  Top 10 Driest Januaries
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
January 2006 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
6
7.1
January 2006 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
2
2.4
January 2006 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
0
0.8
January 2006 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
0
0.2
January 2006 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
0.0
January Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in January 2006
0.15 inch
January 31st
Record Precipitation in January 2006
Precipitation (in)
Date
Old Record
No precipitation records set
Snowfall (in)
January 2006
Normal
January 2006 Saint Cloud Airport Snowfall (in)
3.8
11.0
2005-2006 Seasonal Saint Cloud Airport Snowfall (1 Oct 2005 - 31 Jan 2006)
23.5
27.3
Snowfall Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
January 2006 Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
5
8.7
January 2006 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
2
3.7
January 2006 Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
0
1.7
January 2006 Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
0
0.3
January Extremes
Snowfall (in)
Date
Most Daily Snowfall in January 2006
1.5
January 19th, 31st
Record Snowfall in January 2006
Snowfall (in)
Date
Old Record
No Snowfall Records Set

 

Fewest lows of <= 0°F in January (126 Years; Average = 15.68 days)

Rank

Number of Days

Year

1(tie)

0
1904

1(tie)

0

1908

3

1

2006

4

3

1931

5(tie)

4

1921

5(tie)

4

1990

5(tie)

4

2002

8

5

1932

9

6

1900

10

6

1941

 

Consecutive Days of Daily Mean Temperature Above Normal
(no zeroes) 1896-2001 at Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Rank

Number of Days

Dates

1

51
July 27-September 15, 1900

2

43

June 7-August 19, 1921

3(tie)

42

January 26-March 8, 1987

3(tie)

42

November 4-December 15, 1999

5

41

December 22, 2005-January 31, 2006

6(tie)

39

November 16-December 24, 1913

6(tie)

39

February 27-April 6, 1973

8(tie)

36

January 11-February 15, 1942

8(tie)

36

December 11, 1954-January 15, 1955

8(tie)

36

November 25-December 30, 1997

8(tie)
36
December 27, 1989-January 31, 1990
12
35
July 8-August 11, 1935
13
34
October 28-November 30, 2001
14(tie)
32
July 10-August 10, 1916
14(tie)
32
December 14, 1986-January 14, 1987
14(tie)
32
May 19-June 19, 1991
14(tie)
32
February 5-March 8, 1998

 



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Last updated: Friday 05-Jan-2007 7:06 AM
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