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May-June 2011

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Weatherwatch: January/February 2011


In a dramatic change from December, little or no precipitation fell in California during January. The dry regime also stretched eastward into the Four Corners states. In contrast, warmth and melting snow accompanied a period of heavy precipitation from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies, leading to some flooding.

Colder-than-normal weather dominated the eastern half of the nation during January, while near- to above-normal temperatures covered most areas from the High Plains westward. Monthly temperatures averaged at least 5°F below normal in parts of the southern Atlantic region and a few locations in the upper Midwest.

New Year's Nuggets

The year began on a wet note in the Southeast and under a cold regime in the West. It was the wettest New Year's Day on record in locations such as Huntsville, Alabama (3.48 inches), and Chattanooga, Tennessee (2.40 inches). Meanwhile, the lowest New Year's Day temperatures on record were noted in Roosevelt, Utah (−31°F); Fort Valley, Arizona (−28°F); and Burns, Oregon (−23°F).

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