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By Bob Valen 

New Year – warm and dry

Weather Watcher

 


January kicked off our new year on the warmer and drier side. Here at the home weather station we had a January mean temperature of 31.5°F, while the overall mean is 26.9°F for a difference of 4.6°F. The low for the month was 14.9°F on Jan. 31 (all-time low was -17°F in 1950) and our high was 55.9°F Jan. 13 (all-time high was 61°F in 1981).

Our January precipitation was on the low side. We measured only 0.49 inches, just about all of it from 4.9 inches of snowfall (actually, it is called Snow Water Equivalent or SWE). Our mean precipitation is 1.07 inches, while our mean snowfall is 6.1 inches (my home weather station has measured 8.5 inches of snowfall for the winter season of 2013-14). So, we are still behind in our region, still in a moderate drought, according to The U.S. Drought Monitor. Keep your eye on California and its current historical drought and the potential consequences on some food commodities.

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center shows for the next couple of weeks we should experience normal temperatures and a higher-than-normal chance for precipitation. That’s their prediction, not mine; remember, I’m a weather hobbyist.

OK, let’s take a look back at the weather numbers for 2013. This information was collected at my home weather station. Our low temperature was 3.5°F on Dec. 8, and we had a high temperature of 102.3°F on July 2. A pair of 39 mph wind gusts: Aug. 25 and another Sept. 15. Precipitation for the 2013 year was on the meager side, only 7.29 inches. Our annual mean is 10.55 inches. We were off by 3.26 inches and we continue into dry conditions for 2014. As I write this, we are looking at some good chances for snow and or rain into this week.

If the sky is clear at night, take a look at Jupiter. It’s the only planet visible throughout the night during February. Venus is on the eastern horizon pre-dawn, while Jupiter is just setting in the west.

Valentine’s Day is approaching and you fellows need to razzle and dazzle your close ladies. Here are some February full-moon names used in North America. This particular month’s full moon can be called the Wolf Moon, Snow Moon or Hunger Moon. Ice Moon has also been used. Our February full moon will occur on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

For a current weather forecast & weather radar visit: http://www.grandcouleeweather.info

 

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