January 2016 Weather and Its Impacts on Missouri
Commercial Agriculture Program/University of Missouri Extension
January was seasonably mild across the Show Me state with preliminary data indicating a statewide average temperature slightly less than 1°F above normal, Figure 1. Daily temperatures, however, were variable throughout the month with a progressive weather pattern bringing temporary blasts of arctic air into the region. Several locations around the state, especially the northern half, experienced single digit to below zero temperatures between Jan 9-13 and Jan 16-19. The coldest morning was January 18, when the mercury dipped below zero in most areas across the northern half of the state, Figure 3.
Precipitation was below normal with preliminary data indicating a statewide average total of 0.95, or just over an inch below normal. The drier than normal month follows the trend of dry Januaries over the past few decades, Figure 3. Most locations received between 0.75-1.5 inches of precipitation, but drier areas, where generally 0.50 inches fell, were found in some far northeastern counties, extreme northwest Missouri, and a few southwestern border counties. Heaviest totals were confined to the Bootheel where 1.5-2.5 were common. Caruthersville reported the heaviest statewide total, 3.34 inches.
The first significant snow event for the winter season occurred on January 9 with several locations measuring their first measurable snow. Columbia reported their first measurable snowfall on January 9 and broke a 126 year old record for the latest date to receive measurable snowfall in a winter season. The previous record was January 6, 1890. Snow events on January 17 and 19 dropped 1-2 inches and 1-3 inches, respectively, across parts of northern and central Missouri. Another light snow event on January 21 impacted west central and southwestern Missouri with 1-3 inches of snow.
Overall, winter season snowfall was below normal statewide, Figure 4, and this translated to significant savings for communities and transportation officials with budgets for plowing and treatment of roads and sidewalks.
Source: Pat Guinan, 573-882-5908