Weekend Weather Blog: January in Review

January in Review (CPC)
January in Review (CPC)(January in Review (CPC))
Published: Feb. 12, 2022 at 3:08 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — What a whirlwind of a season the 2021-22 winter has been. December was quite a tale to two months, with the first half featuring record warmth and dryness, and the second half bringing almost record snow and cold conditions. While the beginning of January continued late December’s trend, things really calmed down by the second week of the month.

In fact, the region has been nearly completely dry since then, save for a few quick moving systems that didn’t bring much to the area. But how did we stack up against the norm? Let’s take a look at all of our climate reporting stations in our viewing area - Twin Falls, Jerome, and Burley.

Temperature-wise, the cold weather at the beginning of the month didn’t really go away. While the pattern would suggest the region would see above normal temperatures for a good chunk of the month, a potent inversion (or layer of air warming with height) kept plenty of fog and low cloudiness over the valley regions. This kept the temperatures for the latter portion of the month either near or below normal.

For Twin Falls, the average maximum temperature recorded was 30.4° Fahrenheit - a staggering 6.6° degrees below the normal of 37. Similar results were seen in Jerome, with a monthly average high temperature of 29.1° Fahrenheit. This was also 6.6° below the normal of 35.7°. Burley saw an average high of 31.5° Fahrenheit - 5.9° below the normal of 37.4. It’s amazing what a very small layer of air in the atmosphere can do.

While we were all fairly optimistic about precipitation at the beginning of the month, things really calmed down by the second week. After getting bombarded with storm after storm from Christmas eve through early January, things took a turn. A strong ridge of high pressure remained just off to our west for a good chunk of the month. This really cut down on our precipitation for most of the month of January.

It’s important to remember how precipitation is measured - by the liquid equivalent. This means that if a few inches of snow has fallen, that snow will be melted and measured by the water content within the snow itself. With this, our precipitation totals will look quite a bit lower than you might think.

In Twin Falls, we saw 0.71 inches of precipitation for the month of January. This was 0.24 inches below the normal of 0.95 inches. Jerome saw even less precipitation (with respect to normal) - only 0.7 inches. This was a staggering 0.51 inches below the normal of 1.21 inches. Burley was no different, seeing 0.85 inches of precipitation, which was 0.2 inches below the normal of 1.05 inches.

This was quite disappointing for many of us around Southern Idaho, as we needed December’s trend to continue throughout much of the winter to give us a chance at ending the drought. While we continue to hope for more precipitation in the near future, it looks like we’ll finally have some relief in the form of rain and snow for the beginning of this coming week. Here’s to hoping some wet weather can stick around for a while.

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