<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> January 2014 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
Saint Cloud State University logo Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department
Saint Cloud Forecasts
National Weather Service logoNWS SCSU Big C logo SCSU/Weisman
SCSU Home
SCSU NWA Chapter
Weisman Home
Climate
Weather
Making a Forecast
Alumni
Research
Courses
Handbook
Eighth Northern Plains Winter Storm Conference: Coming October 28-29, 2013 in Saint Cloud!


More Persistent, Flaky Cold

January 2014 St. Cloud Weather Summary

Relentless Cold Ranks 9th in December-January Combined

The relentless cold weather produced a few more breaks than there were in December, but January 2014 was still pretty cold. The average temperature at the St. Cloud Regional Airport was 4.7°F, 6.9°F colder than average and 1.5°F colder than December. Still, this January was only ranked as the 35th coldest out of the 133 Januaries in St. Cloud records, only in the coldest 25% of Januaries.

The reason that January 2014 didn't rank high was the nine days with an above average temperature, including 4 straight days of at least 10 degrees above normal January 10-13. There were 5 days with a high of freezing or higher, even though the warmest temperatures often occurred at night.

The combined December-January average temperature in St. Cloud is 5.5°F, tied for 9th coldest on record with 1981-1982 and the coldest since 1983-1984.

There was only one record cold temperature tied for the entire winter: the -15°F high on January 6. This marked only the 25th day in St. Cloud history with a high of -15 or colder. The last one was Feb 2, 1996 with a high of -20, tying the coldest high in St. Cloud records. The lowest temperature in January (-24°F on January 6), still wasn't the coldest temperature of the cold season, -25°F on December 24. The previous coldest low was -29°F on January 21, 2011. The last -30°F low was -36 on Jan 16, 2009. The last -40°F low was on Feb 2, 1996.

Still, the persistent cold pushed some of the cold temperature thresholds to levels not seen since some really cold years.

Temperature Threshold
Days Most since Record
Highs <= 0°F January 7 Jan 1997 (7 days) 11 in Jan 1912
Highs <= 0°F cold season

13

(2nd all-time)

1976-1977 (13 days) 17 in 1935-1936
Lows <=0°F January 22 Jan 1996 (22 days) 27 in Jan 1982
Lows <=0°F cold season through Jan

40

(tied for 11th most)

1985-1986 (40 days) 50 in 1976-1977
Consecutive Lows <=0°F

12

(Dec 29, 2013-Jan 9, 2014)

Feb. 4-16, 2003 (13 days)

37 days (Jan 17-Feb 22, 1936)

20 days: Jan 18-Feb 6, 1996

Lows <=-20°F January 7 Jan 1996 (11 days) 12 days Jan 1912 and Jan 1982
Lows <=-20°F cold season 11 2008-2009 (12 days) 20 days in 1978-1979

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the Twin Cities were on track to see one of their 10 highest counts of sub-zero low temperatures, St. Cloud is only ranked 12th through January with 40 days. This again references the recent trend in Minnesota winters. For the most part, we've seen milder than normal winters from 1997 on. The last period of consistently colder than average winters was in the late 1970's into the early 1980's. So, this year is showing up as often the coldest of the past 15-20 years, but that doesn't mean it's been a record year.

The reason for the relentless surges of cold air is that the cold has pushed southward in several waves, rarely draining out the coldest of the cold air. When the really cold air has gotten moving, Minnesota has only been sideswiped by the core of the cold air, since the brunt of it has hit Ontario, Quebec, and southeastern Canada.

When It Was REALLY Cold..

On the other hand, the cold is far from the coldest St. Cloud has seen. Note the frigid period between January 30 and February 4, 1996, St. Cloud had the following temperatures:

Date High Low
Jan 30 -13 -31
Jan 31
-6 -36
Feb 1 -17 -35
Feb 2 -20 -40
Feb 3 -12 -33
Feb 4 1 -34

 

Numbers in blue are daily temperature records. The -20 high on Feb 2 tied the all-time coldest high in St. Cloud. The -40 low on Feb 2 was the last time temperatures hit -40. The six straight days with a low of -30 or colder was a record. There were 20 straight days with a low of zero or colder (4th most and the most since 1979).

 

 

 

On Near Record Pace for Frequent Snowfall

We had a bit of a break from the frequent snowfall early in January, but certainly caught up late in the month. The January snowfall at the St. Cloud Prison was 16.8 inches, nearly 9 inches above the January average of 7.9 inches. That ranks as the 16th snowiest January since St. Cloud snow records began in 1900 and the snowiest January since 1999. The seasonal snowfall so far in 2013-2014 has been 40.8 inches, 13.6 inches above average and the 9th highest snowfall from the start of the season through January in St. Cloud records. This is also nearly double last cold season's total through January (20.7 inches), but keep in mind that last winter had the second highest Feb-Apr snowfall on record.

There were 5.7 inches on January 18, which broke the daily snowfall record of 3.5 inches in 1922 and 1935. That's the second daily snowfall record broken this winter; the other one was on December 4.

However, the pattern of frequent snowfall resumed after a short break. St. Cloud had 13 days with measurable snowfall in January. After a slow start (0.1 inch the first 12 days of January), St. Cloud had measurable snowfall on 11 of the 14 days between January 13 and 26. The 13 January days tied for 9th for the most number of January snow days (record: 18 days in 1974-1975). Through the season so far, St. Cloud has had 34 days with measurable snow, tied for the second most with 1968-1969. The most was 35 days in 1950-1951. (Recall that St. Cloud had 19 December days with measurable snowfall, which tied December 1950 for the highest in any month on record). We'd have to keep up this pace to make it to the cold season with the most snowy days: 1950-1951 with 60 days.

St. Cloud has also received snowfall of at least one inch on 14 days and snowfall of at least 2 inches on 7 days this season. Both totals are equal to the average for the entire snow season.

Precipitation Well Above Average

The January snow contained 1.34 inch of liquid, 0.69 inch above average.

Cold Likely to Continue into February

The reason for the cold and snow all winter so far has been the persistent steering wind pattern from the Arctic Ocean through the Yukon and Northwest Territories to the Great Lakes. This has allowed wave after wave of cold air to be sent this way. This pattern has actually allowed Alaska and the Yukon at times to be quite warm (Anchorage had its 4trh warmest January on record; also see Barrow on the Arctic Ocean coast, well above average from the 17th on) and this ridiculous tweet about temperatures in the 60's. Unfortunately, although there isn't any extraordinarily cold air in northern Canada right now, the forecast weather pattern continues to steer air from northern Canada into the central and eastern US for the next week with another major chunk (yellows) just missing us to the north on Friday and Saturday. In days 8-10, the colder colors (reds and yellows are getting hung up in southwestern and central Canada), but it's too early to predict any thaw. And, bringing those colder yellows into central Canada may not help us in the long run.

 

    January 2013 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
January 2014
Normal
January Average High Temperature (°F)
16.2
21.4
January Average Low Temperature (°F)
-6.9
1.8
Mean Temperature for January (°F)
4.7
11.6
  10 Coldest Januaries in Saint Cloud

January Extremes

Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for January 2014 (°F)
37
January 19
Coldest High Temperature for January 2014 (°F)
-15* (tied record; see below)
January 6
Warmest Low Temperature for January 2014 (°F)

22

January 19
Coldest Low Temperature for January 2014 (°F)
-24
January 6
Record Temperatures in January 2014
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
Record Daily Cold High
-15 (tie)
January 6
set in 1912

*Coldest high since February 2, 1996 (-20)

   
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
January 2014 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
26
23.5
Cold-Season 2013-2014 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
60
56.7
January 2014 Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F
7
2.6
Cold-Season 2013-2014 Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F
13$
4.3
January 2014 Days with High Temperatures <= -10°F
1
0.5
January 2014 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F
31
30.9
Cold-Season 2013-2014 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F
101
99.7
January 2014 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F
22#
15.9
Cold-Season 2013-2014 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F
40*
42.7 (annual)
January 2014 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F
7
2.9
Cold-Season 2013-2014 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F
13&
5.4 (annual)
January 2014 Days with Low Temperatures <= -30°F
0
0.4

$Most Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F since 1976-1977, tied for second all-time

#Most January Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F since 1996

*Most Nov-Jan Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F since 1985-86

&Tied for second most Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F on record

   
Precipitation (in)
January 2014
Normal
January 2014 Precipitation (in)
1.34
0.65
  Top 10 Driest Januaries
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
January 2014 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
11
7.1
January 2014 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
5
2.4
January 2014 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
1
0.8
January 2014 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
0
0.2
January 2014 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
0.0
January Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in January 2014
0.39 inch
January 18
Record Precipitation in January 2013
Precipitation (in)
Date
Old Record
No Precipitation Records Set
Snowfall (in)
January 2014
Normal
January 2014 Saint Cloud Reformatory Snowfall (in)
16.8
7.9
2013-2014 Seasonal Saint Cloud Reformatory Snowfall (1 Oct 2013 - 31 Jan 2014)
40.8#
27.5
Snowfall Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
January 2014 Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
13
8.7
Cold-Season 2013-2014 Days with Measurable Snowfall
34*
23.7
January 2014 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
6
3.7
Cold-Season 2013-2014 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
14
9.5
January 2014 Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
3
1.7
January 2014 Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
1
0.3
January Extremes
Snowfall (in)
Date
Most Daily Snowfall in January 2014
5.7 inches (broke record; see below)
January 18
Record Snowfall in January 2013
Snowfall (in)
Date
Old Record
Daily Record Snowfall
5.7 inches January 18 3.5 inches in 1922, 1935

#9th highest seasonal snowfall through January

*2nd most days with measurable snowfall through Jan (record: 35 in 1950-1951)

10 Brownest Januaries

Coldest Dec-Jan Average Temperature
Rank
Temperature
Winter
1
0.5°F
1886-1887
2
2.6°F
1976-1977
3
3.3°F
1978-1979
4
3.5°F
1887-1888
5
3.8°F
1884-1885
6
4.1°F
1917-1918
7
4.35°F
1935-1936
8
4.40°F
1983-1984
9 (tie)
5.5°F
1981-1982
9 (tie)
5.5°F
2013-2014

 

Most Lows of 0°F or colder: Nov-Jan
Rank
Days
Winter
1
50
1976-1977
2
48
1978-1979
3
44
1955-1956
4
43
1949-1950
5 (tie)
42
1917-1918
5 (tie)
42
1958-1959
5 (tie)
42
1977-1978
8 (tie)
41
1927-1928
8 (tie)
41
1951-1952
8 (tie)
41
1964-1965
11 (tie)
40
1950-1951
11 (tie)
40
1985-1986
11 (tie)
40
2013-2014
St. Cloud Snowfall Through January (27.2 inches average)
Rank
Snowfall
Winter
1
54.2 in
1936-1937
2
54.0 in
1968-1969
3
47.8 in
1996-1997
4
46.7 in
1983-1984
5
45.3 in
1927-1928
6
43.4 in
1995-1996
7
42.7 in
1993-1994
8
41.1 in
1966-1967
9
40.8 in
2013-2014
10
40.4 in
1985-1986
Most Days With Measurable Snowfall: Oct-Jan (Average: 19.2 days)
Rank
Days with Snow>=0.1 inch
Snow Season
1
35
1950-1951
2 (tie)
34
1968-1969
2 (tie)
34
2013-2014
4
33
1993-1994
5 (tie)
32
1935-1936
5 (tie)
32
1947-1948
5 (tie)
32
1992-1993
5 (tie)
32
2010-2011
9
31
1981-1982
10 (tie)
30
1955-1956
10 (tie)
30
1969-1970
10 (tie)
30
1987-1988


Return to top of page
All climate data provided courtesy of NOAA/NWS
National Weather Service logoNOAA logo
and Minnesota Climatology Working Group, including the Minnesota State Climatologist's Office, University of Minnesota-Saint Paul Campus.

Interested in an undergraduate degree in meteorology?


Send comments to: raweisman@stcloudstate.edu
Last updated: Sunday 02-Feb-2014 8:51 AM
Background courtesy of aaa-backgrounds.com