January 2020 ends up mild with slightly above average precipitation

Beyond The Forecast

The numbers are in and the month of January ended up quite mild across Wisconsin and most of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region with multiple locations ending up in the top five warmest on record. Precipitation during the month was at or slightly above average as well.

The average monthly temperature for Green Bay, Appleton, and Oshkosh all ended up in the middle 20s which was well above average from the month. Precipitation amounts ended up around 1.50″ which was anywhere from 0.40-0.49″ above average. The warmest temperature this January in Green Bay was 45° which occurred on the 9th and the coldest temperature of the month was -5° on the 17th. That -5° reading was the coldest temperature for this winter season until February 14th when the low dipped to -13°.

January 2020 became the 5th warmest January on record in Green Bay with it’s average temperature of 26.3°. Temperature records for Green Bay began in 1887. Oshkosh recorded their 3rd warmest January on record with Appleton coming in at 7th warmest.

The mild air wasn’t just limited to Northeast Wisconsin. Most of the state experienced above average temperatures. This was also true for surrounding states as well. Temperature departures across the region ranged anywhere from 2°-7° above average.

The heaviest precipitation relative to averages was found across Illinois and Missouri where precipitation totals were upwards of 4″ above average. Precipitation across Wisconsin ranged from average to slightly above average for much of the state. A few locations across western Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan experienced precipitation at or slightly below average.

In terms of snowfall for the month, there was a noticeable departure especially along the western portions of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and lower Michigan southward. This could potentially have been due to the mild air and lack of lake effect snow. Across Wisconsin snowfall totals for the month were generally above average with a slight deficit across southeast Wisconsin and near Iron county.

Courtesy: NOAA

On a global scale, January 2020 was the warmest January on record with an average temperature of 56.1°. This was 2.05° above the 20th century average. The old record was set in 2016 with 2020 beating that record by 0.04°. The most noticeable cold temperatures were seen across Alaska and the far western portions of Canada as well as areas near India.

January 2020 also marked the 44th consecutive January where temperatures were above the 20th century average. It also was the 421st consecutive month with temperatures above that same average.

Sea ice in the arctic for January ties 2014 as the eight smallest for the month on the 42 years of records. Antarctic sea ice tied 2011 for the 10th smallest ice extent on record.

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