January 2023 Weather and Its Impacts on Missouri

Pat Guinan
State Climatologist
University of Missouri Extension

Mild conditions dominated Missouri in January with only a few days where daily temperatures were seasonable to below average, Figure 1. Preliminary data indicate the average statewide temperature for January was 37.3°F, or 7.9 degrees above the long-term average, following the general trend of mild Januaries over the past few decades, Figure 2. This year was the 7th warmest January on record (tied with 1939). Nine out of the past eleven months were warmer than average, Figure 3.

An unsettled January weather pattern impacted Missouri with notable precipitation events. Preliminary precipitation data indicated a statewide average of 2.66 inches, or 0.57 inches above the long-term average. Four out of the past five Januaries were wetter than average for the state, Figure 4, and months have been alternating between wet and dry since October, Figure 5.

Monthly precipitation totals were near to above average in most areas of the state, with heaviest amounts in far southeastern sections where more than 5-inches were reported, to less than 1-inch in small pockets of northeastern, central and northwestern Missouri. Heaviest and lightest January totals are listed in Table 1.

January 2023 Heaviest & Lightest Precipitation Totals
  Station Name* County Precipitation (in.)

Heaviest Clarkton 1.5N Dunklin 9.65
  Anniston 1.9WNWMississippi 9.12
  Dexter 2.3W Stoddard 8.11
  Glennonville 1EDunklin 8.10
  Poplar Bluff Butler 7.40
  Jackson 1.0SW Cape Girardeau7.17
  Sikeston 1.7ENEScott 7.07
Lightest Paris 0.7S Monroe 0.38
  New London 0.9SSW Ralls 0.67
  Monroe City Monroe 0.75
  Clarence Cannon DamRalls 0.81
  Moberly 0.8WSW Randolph0.89
  Vandalia Audrain 0.92
  Coloma Carroll 0.93
**Precipitation gauges are from the NWS Cooperative Network, CoCoRaHS Network & Missouri Mesonet.
Table 1.

There were a couple significant snowfall events impacting the state during January, both occurring within three days of each other. The first event impacted parts of northwest and far north central Missouri on January 21-22, with 3-6 inches reported, Figure 6. Heaviest amounts were observed in Andrew, Daviess and Grundy Counties. A CoCoRaHS observer in Cosby (Andrew Co.) reported 7.0 inches on the morning of the 22nd.

Another snow event impacted southern Missouri overnight on January 25, where a sizeable portion of the Ozarks reported 5-10 inches of snow, Figure 7. CoCoRaHS and NWS cooperative observers measured 8-10 inches of snow in Texas, Howell, Carter, and St. Francois Counties. The highest amount was observed in Houston (Texas Co.) and West Plains (Howell Co.) where 10-inches were reported.

The mild January weather translated to substantial savings in heating bills for consumers and less stressful conditions for outdoor workers, livestock and pets. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, dryness conditions remained generally stable as January progressed except for far southeastern Missouri where improvement was noted due to heavier precipitation, Figure 8.

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Columbia, MO January Daily Max/Min Temperature Normal vs 2023

Figure 1.

Missouri Average January Temperature* 1895-2023

Figure 2.

Missouri Monthly Temperature Departure from Average January 2022 - January 2023*

Figure 3.

Missouri Average January Precipitation* 1895-2023

Figure 4.

Missouri Monthly Precip. Departure from Average January 2022 - January 2023*

Figure 5.

Total Snowfall (in) - January 22, 2023

Figure 6.

Total Snowfall (in) - January 25, 2023

Figure 7.

U.S. Drought Monitor - Missouri - January 2023

Figure 8.

Average Temperature (°F) January 01, 2023 to January 31, 2023

Average Temperature (°F): Departure from Mean January 01, 2023 to January 31, 2023

Accumulated Precipitation (in) January 01, 2023 to January 31, 2023

Accumulated Precipitation (in): Departure from 1991-2020 Normals January 01, 2023 to January 31, 2023

Source: Pat Guinan, 573-882-5908