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Weather Extremes

Tue., Jan. 15, 2008, midnight

For the week of Jan. 6-12, there were an incredible 360 weather records either broken or tied. Most of these extremes occurred across the eastern third of the country. A large percentage of these records were warm: 312 total, with 244 high temperature and 68 high minimum temperature records.

Record warmth was felt from Louisiana northward into New England last week. On Jan. 6, Midland, Texas, soared to 77 degrees. It was 80 degrees at Alexandria, La. On Jan. 7, highs climbed into the mid-60s in the Ohio Valley. Normally chilly Maryland observed spring-like readings on the 7th. At Martinsburg, Md., the mercury hit a record 70 degrees. It was 71 degrees at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C.

A January thaw was observed in New England last week that reduced the snowpack in local ski areas. Caribou, Maine, climbed to a record 48 degrees on Jan. 8. Hartford, Conn., reported a mild 62 degrees. Burlington, Vt., observed a record high of 63 degrees on the 8th as well. In addition to the mild afternoon temperatures, there were numerous high minimum temperature records tied or broken in this region that contributed to the rapid snowmelt.

There was only one record low temperature. It occurred at St. Paul, Alaska, with a record-tying zero degrees on Saturday.

As the warm air to the east collided with the colder air to the north and west, record rains were noted in parts of the central U.S. A total of 41 precipitation extremes were observed last week. On Jan. 7, 2.75 inches of rain fell at Lincoln, Ill. Lincoln observed another 2.13 inches on the 8th, another record for the date. On Wednesday, Coeur d’Alene received .74 inches of liquid moisture.

There were record snows in the West last week. Spokane received a record 5.4 inches on Wednesday. About 8.5 inches of snow fell at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., on Friday.

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