Winter 2011-12 Among Top 5 Warmest Thus Far, Trend Continues into Feb.

By: METEOROLOIGST MARK HENDERSON
By: METEOROLOIGST MARK HENDERSON

The book's closed on January, though many mild weather enthusiasts may wish otherwise! January goes down with an average temperature of 27.4°, a level nearly 6° above normal, and good enough for 11th place on the all-time Rockford list going back to 1906. But that's not all! Add our mild December on top, and the December-January ranks as the 5th warmest start to meteorological winter, with an average temperature of 30.0!

One thing I found very interesting to discover was the fact that January actually ended up being above normal in terms of snowfall! 12.4" of snow fell during 2012's opening month. That's 2.4" above normal! But more surprising to find was that this January will actually go down in the Top 25 Snowiest Januaries since 1906! Sure didn't seem like it, right?

February picks off where January left off, and that's warm! Despite some fog and low clouds early on Thursday morning, sunshine should take over and allow our temperatures to surge back into the mid-40s! Clouds re-gather Friday, as a complex system moves slowly eastward. A mix of rain or snow is possible as early as Friday night, with the prospects for mixed precip. peaking Saturday into Saturday night, given the current model solutions. This is a rather fluid situation, with wide disagreements among our computer models, so it's important to note that much uncertainty exists at this time! Solutions vary from an all rain event to a mixed bag to an all snow event to just a few sprinkles! The picture should become much more clear on Thursday as the system comes ashore along the West Coast!

A trend back toward near normal temperatures looks likely by the middle of next week, but any signs of a prolonged Arctic outbreak are few and far between at this time!


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