January 2012 Weather and
Its Impacts on Missouri

Pat Guinan
State Climatologist
Commercial Agriculture/University of Missouri Extension

Mild and dry conditions were the rule over Missouri during January with monthly temperatures averaging 5-7 degrees above normal across the state. Preliminary data indicate an average statewide temperature of 36.3°F, or 6.4 degrees above the long-term normal. The month ranks as the 8th warmest January on record and the warmest January since 2006. Regionally, monthly temperatures averaged in the low 30's across northern sections, mid 30's over central portions and upper 30's across southern Missouri. The Bootheel had the warmest temperatures, averaging in the lower 40's for the month.

Precipitation events were sparse and light during the month, and generally below normal for most locations. The statewide average January total was 1.30 inches, about 0.80 inches below the long-term normal. Regionally, amounts were less than 0.50" across northwestern and west central sections, between 0.5-1.0" from northeastern, through central and southwestern Missouri, and 1.0-2.5" over east central and south central sections. Southeastern Missouri reported the heaviest totals, ranging from 2.5-3.5 inches. Some of the lowest totals were reported in Platte county where a couple CoCoRaHS observers measured less than 0.05" around the Platte City area. The Kansas City International Airport reported only 0.06" for the month, which made it the 5th driest January on record. Highest amounts were confined to the Bootheel, where CoCoRaHS observers in New Madrid, Scott, and Pemiscot counties reported 3.76", 3.77" and 3.81", respectively.

Snow events were few and light during the month, occurring over parts of the state on only a handful of days, and generally amounting to less than 1.5". One of these snow days, however, was a high impact event. On January 12th, prior to early morning rush hour traffic, snow began to fall over portions of northeastern and east central Missouri. According to the Associated Press, hundreds of vehicle accidents were reported in and around the St. Louis metropolitan area, and southbound U.S. Highway 61 in northeastern Missouri, near Palmyra, was closed due to numerous snow related accidents.

The mild weather and below normal snowfall over the past two months translated to state, county, and consumer savings associated with lower heating demand and less winter road work.

Average Temperature January 1, 2012 - January 31, 2012

Average Temperature Departure from Mean January 1, 2012 - January 31, 2012

Precipitation January 1, 2012 - January 31, 2012

Accumutlated Precipitation Departure from Mean January 1, 2012 - January 31, 2012

Questions? Comments?
Please e-mail Dr. Patrick Guinan , Phone: 573-882-5908
Missouri State Climatologist
School of Natural Resources
102 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
Columbia, MO 65211