While we did our share of shivering in January, for the entire U.S. it ended up being only slightly below the 20th century average. The average temperature for the contiguous United States was 30.3°. That is only .1° below average. The polar vortex sent temperatures tumbling across the eastern half of the country but warmer weather out west helped to offset that.
Here are some highlights the National Climatic Data Center’s January climate report:
- Based on NOAA’s Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during January was 38 percent above average and the 17th highest in the 1895-2014 period of record.
- There were more than two and a half as many record cold daily highs (2620) and lows (2174, or a total of 4794) as record warm daily highs (820) and lows (948, or a total of 1768).
- The Alaska statewide average temperature was 14.8°F above the 1971-2000 average, marking the third-warmest January in the 96-year period of record. This was the warmest January for the state since 1985.Alaska also was wetter than average during January with a statewide precipitation total 69.8 percent above the 1971-2000 average. This was the eighth-wettest January on record for Alaska and the wettest since 1993.