Thursday, February 14, 2013

January 2013 Caribou Maine Climate Summary


Although January 2013 averaged 1 to 2 degrees above normal across
the region...the term average this month had little meaning since
It was an average of extreme temperature occurrences...especially
across the north. Both precipitation and snowfall was below average
with snow depth...especially at the close of the month...much below

The month began with below average temperatures on the 1st through
7th then turned mild on the 8th through 17th...culminating with
record high temperatures on the 14th. Following the morning of the
17th...sharply colder temperatures occurred on the 18th followed by
another brief mild spell on the 20th. This in turn was followed by
bitterly cold weather on the 21st through 26th which featured sub
30 below morning readings in far northwest Maine on the mornings of
the 22nd and 23rd. After a period of less cold on the 27th through
29th...the month finished with recording breaking warmth on the 30th
and 31st. In fact...the high temperature of 53 degrees at caribou on
the 31st tied the highest January temperature of record last set on
January 15th 1995. This topsy-turby roller coaster of temperatures...
especially from the 22nd to the end of the month amounted to as much
as 80 degrees or more from coldest to warmest at some locations of
the western Saint John valley.

No widespread heavy snow storms occurred this month...unusual for
January. This helped the month be dry for liquid equivalent
precipitation...with the area only receiving only 25 to 65 percent
of normal. An example of this...Bangor which only received only 0.87
inches of liquid equivalent precipitation...experienced there 5th
driest January on record. Several storms that could have resulted in
more precipitation (and snowfall) either moved well west or southeast
of the region. The one storm that brought significant precipitation
occurred at then end of the month with record warmth and was in the
form of rainfall to all of the region. This same system was
accompanied by damaging southerly winds ahead of and westerly winds
behind a cold front on the 31st.

Due to inconsistent snowfall...two major thaws and a month ending
rainfall...snow depth at most locations actually trended downward
during the month with snow depth at caribou on morning of the 31st
only 2 inches (where 18 inches is typical on this date) and zero at
Bangor (where 9 inches is typical). At caribou...the average of 7
inches for the month was 6 inches below normal and tied as 5th
lowest compared to the lowest average of 2 inches recorded in 1962.
at average of 7 inches for the month was actually 1 inch
above normal...thanks to above average snow pack during the first
third of the month.