<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> January 2012 Saint Cloud, MN, Weather Summary
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St. Cloud 2012 Year at a Glance

Mild and Brown Winter Literally Marches On

2012 January Saint Cloud, MN Weather Summary

8th Warmest January, Second Warmest December-January Combined

The mild winter weather that began in December continued throughout January. According to the statistics from the St. Cloud Regional Airport, the average temperature in January 2012 was 20.3°F, 8.5°F warmer than normal. That made January 2012 St. Cloud's 8th warmest January since temperature records began in 1881. Adding in the warm temperatures of last December (9.1°F warmer than normal), the first months of the winter season are the second warmest in St. Cloud records with an average temperature of 22.7°F, nearly ten degrees warmer than the 120 year average. The only cold season that had a combined Dec-Jan average even warmer was in 1913-1914. That average temperature shared in the past two months would be more typical of late February, early March, or late November rather than the coldest days of the year.

This also marks 7 straight months with an above average temperature.

While the past three winters have been colder than normal, the cold season of 2011-2012 continues to remind us of the milder cold seasons that dominated the late 1990's and early 2000's. In fact, both January 2002 and 2006 (warmest on record) ranked warmer than January 2012

Nearly As Many Highs Above 45 Degrees As Seen In Any January Since 1950

The warmest period of January came during the first 11 days, when what little snow cover St. Cloud had melted. Add in some breezy warm days and St. Cloud broke 50 degrees for a high twice and 40 degrees 3 more times. The first 50-degree high temperature was set on January 5 with a high of 53 degrees. This temperature not only broke a record for the date (by 10 degrees) but beat out January 7, 2003, as the earliest 50-degree high in St. Cloud weather records. There have only been 3 January high temperatures that have been warmer, with the warmest being the 56-degree high on January 24, 1981. A second 50-degree high was recorded on January 10. There have only been 10 50-degree highs in St. Cloud since records began in 1881. January 2012 tied the Januaries of 1944 and 2003 for having two 50-degree highs. The 4 days with a high of at least 45-degrees tied January 1931 for the 4th most. The most 45-degree highs in January was set in 1942.

There were 3 daily record highs set and 7 total warm record temperatures in January. There have now been 10 daily high temperature records set or tied during this cold season, all in either December or January.

Way Below Average on Sub-Zero Lows

Colder air did temporarily move in after January 10. There was another warm-up with a high of 38 degrees on December 15, but St. Cloud finally sustained a small snow cover during the second half of January. The snow cover combined with colder air to finally produce 5 straight days of colder than normal temperatures on January 17-21, including 5 days with a low of 0°F or colder, including a -17°F low and a 3°F high on January 19, the coldest day of the winter so far. However, that was the end of colder than normal weather for the month.

Finally, Some Prolonged Snow Cover

Thus far in the cold season of 2011-2012, St. Cloud has had only 7 days low of 0°F or colder, the 4th lowest total of sub-zero lows through January. The only years that had few were 1903-1904 (0 lows), 1907-1908 (3 lows), and 2001-2002 (5 lows). A word of caution, however: of the seasons with the 11 fewest days of sub-zero lows through January, seven seasons had more sub-zero lows in February and March combined than through January. In fact, six of the 11 years had at least 10 more days of sub-zero lows in February and March. So, we are not out of the woods yet.

There was finally some snowfall in January with a total of 9.5 inches, 1.6 inches above the January normal. There were 10 days with measurable snowfall in January, more than the January average of 8.6 days. However, the seasonal snowfall by the end of January totalled only 16.2 inches, 11.8 inches less than average. There have been, however, 36 cold seasons with less snowfall through January, including the recent cold seasons of 2006-2007 (4.7 inches), and 2002-2003 (11.6 inches). In 2007-2008, there were also 16.2 inches through the end of January.

That January snowfall contained .59 inch of liquid, slightly below the average of 0.65 inch. This marks the fifth straight month of below average precipitation, but it was the closest to normal of any month since August.

Mild Weather Pattern Despite La Nina

Climate indicators still show that we are in the midst La Nina cold season, with colder than normal water temperatures in the eastern part of the Tropical Pacific In such years, the steering winds over North America tend to come from Alaska and northwestern Canada, favoring repeated intrusions of cold air masses during the winter. This was the basis of the long-range forecasts made for the winter in November and earlier. However, the steering winds this winter have ended up looking like an El Nino year (when water temperatures in the eastern Tropical Pacific are normal than normal). In such years as well as this year, there tends to be a strong belt of steering winds from the central Pacific across the Southern US, much like there is now. Also, there is a branch of the steering winds in Canada that blocks the southward push of cold air further south than central Canada, which is also going on now.

In such a pattern the cold air tends to stay in Alaska or northern Canada for long periods of time. That is what has helped to produce a record cold January in much of northern Alaska, including Nome, Galena, and Bettles (with an average temperature of -35.6 degrees). Fairbanks had its 5th coldest January on record with only 3 days with an above zero high.

Thus far, there are signs that we could see some push of the colder air further south into Canada, but no clear signal that the really cold stuff will spend a long time in Minnesota through the first two weeks of February.

    January 2012 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
January 2012
Normal
January Average High Temperature (°F)
29.5
21.4
January Average Low Temperature (°F)
11.1
1.8
Mean Temperature for January (°F)
20.3
11.6
  10 Coldest Januaries in Saint Cloud

January Extremes

Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for January 2012 (°F)
53 (broke daily record; see below)
January 5
Coldest High Temperature for January 2012 (°F)
3
January 19
Warmest Low Temperature for January 2012 (°F)

32 (broke daily record; see below)

January 28
Coldest Low Temperature for January 2012 (°F)
-17
January 19
Record Temperatures in January 2012
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
Record Daily Warm High
53*
January 5
43 in 1984
 
49
January 9
47 in 1902
 
52
January 10
49 in 1990
Record Daily Warm Average
36
January 5
35 in 1915
 
39
January 6
36 in 1928
 
37
January 10
36 in 1928
Record Daily Warm Low
32
January 6
31 in 1928
*Earliest 50-degree high in St. Cloud Records; Old record: January 7, 2003    
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
January 2012 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
18
23.5
January 2012 Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F
0
2.6
Cold-Season 2011-2012 Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F
0
4.3
January 2012 Days with High Temperatures <= -10°F
0
0.5
January 2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F
31
30.9
January 2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F
5
15.9
Cold-Season 2011-2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F
7
42.7
January 2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F
0
2.9
Cold-Season 2011-2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F
0
5.4
January 2012 Days with Low Temperatures <= -30°F
0
0.4
Precipitation (in)
January 2012
Normal
January 2012 Precipitation (in)
0.57
0.65
  Top 10 Driest Januaries
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
January 2012 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
9
7.1
January 2012 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
1
2.4
January 2012 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
0
0.8
January 2012 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
0
0.2
January 2012 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
0.0
January Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in January 2012
0.21 inch
January 23
Record Precipitation in January 2012
Precipitation (in)
Date
Old Record
No Precipitation Records Set
Snowfall (in)
January 2012
Normal
January 2012 Saint Cloud Reformatory Snowfall (in)
9.5
7.9
2010-2012 Seasonal Saint Cloud Reformatory Snowfall (1 Oct 2011 - 31 Jan 2012)
16.2
28.0
Snowfall Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
January 2012 Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
10
8.7
Cold-Season 2011-2012 Days with Measurable Snowfall 16 23.7
January 2012 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
4
3.7
Cold-Season 2011-2012 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall 7 9.5
January 2012 Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
2
1.7
January 2012 Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
0
0.3
January Extremes
Snowfall (in)
Date
Most Daily Snowfall in January 2012
3.1
January 23
Record Snowfall in January 2012
Snowfall (in)
Date
Old Record
No Snowfall Records Set

 

Warmest December-January in St. Cloud Records (1881- 2012)

Average: 12.8°F (112 years)

Rank
Cold Season
Dec-Jan Avg Temperature(°F)
Winter (Dec-Feb) Avg Temperature
Winter Rank (out of 112)
Cold Season Snowfall (in)
1
1913-1914
23.7
17.8
19
26.0
2
2011-2012
22.7
???
???
???
3
2001-2002
22.6
23.4
1
64.0
4
1918-1919
22.5
20.0
7
34.6
5 (tie)
1943-1944
21.8 (21.80)
19.3
9 (tie)
36.3
5 (tie)
2005-2006
21.8 (21.75)
19.3
9 (tie)
33.4
7 (tie)
1920-1921
21.7 (21.70)
21.5
6
10.7
7 (tie)
1881-1882
21.7 (21.65)
23.2
2
N/A
9
1890-1891
21.6 (21.55)
17.8
18 (tie)
N/A
10
2006-2007
21.3
17.8
18 (tie)
31.8
11
1930-1931
20.6
22.7
4
27.5
       
14
1997-1998
19.8
23.0
3
44.9
20
1986-1987
18.9
22.2
5
16.7

 

Most January Highs >=50°F
Most January Highs >=45°F
Rank
Year
Highs >= 45°F
Rank
Year
Highs >= 45°F
1
1942
3
1
1942
6
2 (tie)
1944
2
2 (tie)
1900
5
2 (tie)
2003
2
2 (tie)
1981
5
2 (tie)
2012
2
4 (tie)
1931
4
5 (tie)
1900
1
4 (tie)
2012
4
5 (tie)
1981
1
 

 

Fewest Lows of 0°F or Colder (Nov-Jan)
Rank
Cold Season
Lows <=0°F Through January
Cold Season Lows <=0°F
Seasonal Rank
1
1903-1904
0
20
8
2
1907-1908
3
11
1
3
2001-2002
5
15
2
4 (tie)
1918-1919
7
22
10 (tie)
4 (tie)
1931-1932
7
30
20 (tie)
4 (tie)
2011-2012
7
7
1913-1914
8
29
17 (tie)
8 (tie)
1920-1921
9
16
3 (tie)
8 (tie)
2005-2006
9
17
6 (tie)
10 (tie)
1930-1931
11
16
3 (tie)
10 (tie)
2006-2007
11
25
12

 



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Last updated: Friday 03-Feb-2012 2:08 PM
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