• January 2021 National Storm Summary

    From James Munley@21:1/5 to All on Wed Feb 17 17:36:51 2021

    JANUARY 2021

    3-9: Farther east, a storm system crossing the South sparked some rain and snow, mainly on January 6- 7. The storm was not well organized, though, with rainfall in excess of 2 inches mostly limited to the Arklatex region. Elsewhere, a train of Pacific
    storms clipped the Northwest, delivering widespread rain and snow from the Cascades westward. Periodically, precipitation pushed as far inland as the northern High Plains and as far south as northern California.

    In the West, precipitation occasionally reached as far south as northern California, where Alturas netted a daily record total of 0.50 inch on January 4. By week’s end, however, the average water equivalency of the high elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack
    stood at just 6 inches, one-half of normal for January 10 and barely one-fifth of the typical seasonal peak. Around midweek, a storm system produced locally heavy rain in the South, where January 6-7 rainfall in Arkansas totaled 2.69 inches in Texarkana
    and 2.26 inches in De Queen. At week’s end, a storm system emerging from the central and southern Rockies began to produce heavy snow, with the bulk of the precipitation in Texas falling on January 10. A day earlier, on the 9th, snowfall in Colorado
    had totaled 2.2 inches in Colorado Springs and 2.0 inches in Pueblo.

    10-16: The week began with heavy snow in the South and later featured a dynamic storm system producing precipitation and high winds from the Northwest into the Midwest. However, many areas of the country, including drought-stricken areas from central and
    southern California into the Southwest, received little or no precipitation. The early-week storm blanketed parts of Texas with its heaviest snow in decades but weakened while traversing the Southeast. Farther north, heavy rain triggered local flooding
    west of the Cascades, where high winds resulted Northern storm progressed eastward, high winds (locally 70 to 90 mph or greater) raked northern sections of the Rockies and Plains on January 13-14. In parts of the upper Midwest, snow accompanying the high
    winds resulted in blizzard conditions, leading to travel disruptions.

    Early in the week, record-setting snowfall affected a west-to-east belt across roughly the central one-third of Texas. On January 10, daily-record snowfall totals in Texas included 7.6 inches in Lubbock; 4.5 inches in College Station; 4.4 inches in Waco;
    3.8 inches in San Angelo; and 3.2 inches in Midland. It was College Station’s greatest accumulation in January since 1973, when 5.0 inches fell on January 10-11. For Waco, it was the greatest single-day snowfall since January 13, 1982, when 6.0 inches
    fell. Farther east, January 10-11 snowfall totaled 3.2 inches in Shreveport, LA—the first storm delivering more than 3 inches of snow in that location since February 2015. Record-setting snowfall totals for January 11 included 3.0 inches in Monticello,
    AR, and 1.5 inches in Tupelo, MS. Meanwhile, stormy weather continued to move ashore in the Pacific Northwest. January 11-12 rainfall in western Washington totaled 4.50 inches in Olympia; 4.34 inches in Quillayute; and 4.21 inches in Hoquiam. During the
    same 2-day period, 4.60 inches fell in Astoria, OR. From January 1-12, more than a foot of rain (200 to 300 percent of normal) fell in Quillayute, Hoquiam, and Astoria. On January 12, southwesterly wind gusts were clocked to 59 mph in Hoquiam and 55 mph
    in Astoria. Marys River, a tributary of the Willamette River, crested 1.23 feet above flood stage on January 13 in Philomath, OR—the highest level at that gauge since January 19, 2012. By January 13, high winds raked the northern Plains and adjacent
    Rockies, raising dust across open fields in snow-free areas. Official peak gusts on the 13th included 93 mph in Buffalo, SD; 89 mph in Cheyenne, WY; 86 mph in Scottsbluff, NE; 85 mph in Torrington, WY; and 79 mph in Glasgow, MT. For Glasgow, it was the
    second-highest gust on record, behind 82 mph on July 3, 2000. Glasgow’s previous January record had been 72 mph, on January 11, 2009. High winds persisted into January 14 across the northern Plains and upper Midwest, with gusts reaching 80 mph in Rapid
    City, SD; 68 mph in Mobridge, SD; and 67 mph in North Platte, NE. On January 14-15, Sioux Falls, SD, received 2.1 inches of snow and reported a peak wind gust of 58 mph. Sioux City, IA, netted 2.0 inches of snow and clocked a gust to 59 mph. Snow
    lingered across parts of the Midwest into January 15, when Waterloo, IA, collected a dailyrecord snowfall of 4.9 inches. By January 16, snow shifted into parts of the East, including the central Appalachians, where daily-record totals in West Virginia
    included 5.2 inches in Elkins and 4.2 inches in Beckley. Meanwhile, heavy rain fell closer to the northern Atlantic Coast; record-setting amounts for January 16 included 1.62 inches in Hartford, CT, and 1.34 inches in Providence, RI.

    17-23: Across the South, however, some rain (locally 2 inches or more) fell during the second half of the week. However, rain’s coverage was limited, with higher totals confined to a small area stretching from eastern Texas into central and southern

    when locally heavy showers developed over the Desert Southwest. With a 1.12-inch total on January 20, Yuma, AZ, experienced its wettest January day since January 21, 2010, when 1.95 inches fell. The daily sum also accounted for nearly one-third (31
    percent) of Yuma’s normal annual rainfall of 3.56 inches. In 2020, Yuma received no measurable rain from April 12 – December 9, a span of 242 days. Late in the week, additional shower activity arrived across the West. Modest daily-record totals
    included 0.21 inch (on January 22) in Tonopah, NV, and 0.22 inch (on January 23) in Casper, WY. Casper also received 3.0 inches of snow on the 23rd. On January 24, near the mid-point of the Western winter wet season, the average water equivalency of the
    high-elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack stood at 6 inches, just under 40 percent of normal for this time of year and roughly one-fifth of the April 1 (end-of-season) peak accumulation. By January 23, light snow overspread the upper Midwest, where Mitchell,
    SD, reported its first measurable amount (1.8 inches, a daily record for the date) since late December. Farther south, January 21-22 rainfall totaled 2.50 inches in Alexandria, LA; 2.49 inches in McComb, MS; and 2.48 inches in Hattiesburg, MS.

    24-30: California’s most powerful storm of the season to date delivered drought-easing precipitation, including heavy mountain snow, but caused local flooding and landslides. Impacts from the multi-day storm system extended beyond California, reaching
    into the Northwest, Southwest, and the Great Basin. Late in the week, the Western storm finally turned eastward, resulting in wintry precipitation in the Midwest and rain showers across the South. An earlier storm system had also crossed the central and
    eastern U.S., with snow blanketing areas from the Ozark Plateau into southern Virginia and northern North Carolina.

    Early in the week, heavy precipitation developed across the central Plains, mid-South, and lower Midwest. On January 25, daily-record snowfall totals in Nebraska included 14.5 inches in Lincoln, 11.9 inches in Omaha, and 10.2 inches in Grand Island. For
    Lincoln, it was the snowiest January day on record (previously, 11.4 inches on January 3, 1971) and the snowiest day in any month since February 11, 1965, when 19.0 inches fell. Lincoln also achieved a January snowfall record, with 18.9 inches (
    previously, 15.6 inches in 2011). For Omaha, it was the snowiest day since January 10, 1975, when 12.1 inches fell. Meanwhile, daily-record precipitation totals topped 2 inches on the 25th in West Plains, MO (2.92 inches), and Bowling Green, KY (2.54
    inches). The first deadly tornado of the year struck Jefferson County, AL, north of Birmingham, on January 25, resulting in one fatality, numerous injuries, and considerable property damage. By January 26, precipitation spread to the East Coast, where
    Providence, RI, collected a daily-record snowfall of 3.8 inches. During the mid- to late-week period, a Pacific storm dumped heavy precipitation in California and portions of neighboring states. Chilly weather and high winds accompanied the sprawling,
    slowmoving storm. According to the California Department of Water Resources, the average water equivalency of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack climbed to nearly 12 inches (about twothirds of normal) by the end of January, up from just over 6
    inches a week earlier. In an average year, nearly 30 inches of liquid accumulates in the Sierra Nevada snowpack by April 1. As the storm arrived on January 27, snow fell on the Sacramento Valley floor, where Redding, CA, reported 1.5 inches. From January
    25-29, rainfall totaled 14.41 inches in Big Sur, CA, about 20 miles north of where a section of State Route 1 washed into the Pacific Ocean. On January 27-28, consecutive daily-record totals were observed in California locations such as Paso Robles (1.39
    and 2.94 inches, respectively); Modesto (2.49 and 0.94 inches); and Stockton (1.37 and 1.43 inches). Stockton clocked a southeasterly wind gust to 58 mph on January 27, while Marysville, CA, recorded 65 mph. Farther inland, Reno, NV, received 10.5 inches
    of snow, spread across 7 days (January 23-29). Flagstaff, AZ, reported 43.5 inches of snow from January 19-29, boosting its season-to-date total from 7.1 to 50.6 inches (from 17 to 97 percent of normal). At week’s end, the Western storm turned eastward,
    producing another round of precipitation across the central Plains and Midwest. During the weekend of January 30-31, Chicago received 10.8 inches of snow. January 30 featured a daily-record snowfall (3.6 inches) in Indianapolis, IN, and a daily-record
    precipitation total (1.13 inches) in Springfield, IL. In contrast, a very dry January ended in Florida locations such as Melbourne (0.04 inch, or 2 percent of normal) and Vero Beach (0.20 inch, or 8 percent).

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