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Northeast Overview - January 2013

Monthly Summary

The trend of warmer-than-average temperatures in 2012 continued right into 2013. The Northeast's average temperature of 26.5 degrees F (-3.1 degrees C) was 2.9 degrees F (1.6 degrees C) above normal but 1.2 degrees F (0.7 degrees C) cooler than January 2012. It was the 27th warmest January in 119 years. All states were warmer than normal with seven of the twelve states reporting January 2013 as one of their top 30 warmest. Delaware was the warmest state at 38.8 degrees F (3.8 degrees C). It was 4.3 degrees F (2.4 degrees C) above average and the state's 17th warmest January. Departures for the rest of the states ranged from +1.8 degrees F (1.0 degrees C) in New Hampshire to + 3.6 degrees F (2.0 degrees C) in Vermont.

January 2013 was drier than normal in the Northeast. The region's monthly precipitation of 2.54 inches (64.52 mm), 82 percent of normal, was 0.53 inches (13.46 mm) below average. Nine states were drier than normal with departures ranging from 39 percent of normal in Connecticut to 88 percent of normal in New Jersey. Several states had Januarys that ranked in their top 25 driest: Connecticut, 9th driest; Maine and Rhode Island, 11th driest; Massachusetts, 13th driest; New Hampshire, 16th driest; and Vermont, 23rd driest. Two states received near-average precipitation with Pennsylvania coming in at 100 percent of normal and Maryland at 101 percent of normal. West Virginia was the wettest state at 135 percent of normal making it their 30th wettest January since 1895.

Arctic air settled into the Northeast from the 22nd through the 25th. Temperatures were 15 to 20 degrees F (8.3 to 11.1 degrees C) below average. The cold air moving over the relatively warm waters helped create major lake-effect snowfall east of Lakes Erie and Ontario. The greatest totals along Lake Erie were found in Chautauqua County, NY, where around 2 feet (61 cm) of snow fell. Along Lake Ontario the greatest snowfall amounts were in Oswego and Cayuga counties of New York where around 3 feet (91.4 cm) fell. A powerful low pressure system moved through the Northeast from the 30th to the 31st. In advance of the low, warm southerly air helped twenty climate sites set record high temperatures. As the system advanced, sustained winds as high as 49 mph (21.9 m/s) with gusts as high as 81 mph (36.2 m/s) brought down trees and power lines, ripped off parts of roofs, and blew out windows. Heavy rain (6.12 inches (155.45 mm) fell in Damascus, MD) caused flash flooding with numerous road closures and water rescues reported. As cold air moved in behind the system, lake-effect snow was yet again generated with reports of up to 21 inches (53.3 cm).