January 2000 temperatures across the U.S. started on a mild note. However, a significant storm system affected the eastern seaboard beginning January 22. First, a severe ice storm hit northern Georgia and portions of northwest South Carolina on January 22-23. Over 1/2 million utility customers were without power during and after the storm, with the Atlanta area severely affected. Some locations received over two inches of rain with temperatures below freezing. Overall damage estimates are not yet available.
Then, a rapidly deepening low pressure along the same frontal boundary blanketed much of the east coast with heavy snowfall on the 24-25th of the month. The storm dumped heavy snow amounts from the Carolinas into New England with at least five deaths reported. In fact, Raleigh-Durham, NC reported a snowfall total from the storm (beginning Monday evening the 24th through 3 PM on the 25th) of 20.3 inches, breaking the old record for a single storm event of 17.9 inches measured on February 15-17, 1902. They also set a new monthly snowfall record with a total of 25.8 inches. The old record was 20 inches set back in January of 1893. In the Carolinas, nearly a quarter of a million customers were without power due to the heavy, wet snow damaging trees, which then fell on power lines. The snow also fell in a short period of time, with Raleigh-Durham reporting 15" in 4 hours! . A third storm during the Jan 29th-31st period brought more, ice, freezing rain and snow to the east. Tens of thousands of homes along the East Coast lost power after the storm glazed power lines and tree limbs from South Carolina to New York. The storms also brough some heavy snows to parts of the interior East and New England.
Some of the snowfall amounts for the Jan 24-25th storm can be found here.
Additional satellite images of the Jan 24th storm can be found here.
An archive of monthly individual station records can be found at Selected U.S. City and State Extremes. Also, the Midwestern Regional Climate Center report for January, including a report on tornadoes in the region, can be found here.
In the climatological history books, January, 1985 - 15 years ago--extreme arctic cold penetrated the "deep south". All time state records were set in: North Carolina at Mt. Mitchell with -34 F on Jan 21; in South Carolina at Caesar's Head with -19 F on Jan 21; and in Virginia at Mtn. Lake Biological Station with -30 F on Jan 22. Additional state records in the form of maps and tables are also available on the NCDC WWW site.
Elsewhere around the globe during January, numerous snowstorms hit parts of northern and central China across the provinces of Qinghai, Inner Mongolia and Xingiang. News reports indicate that several hundred thousand people have been affected and over one million livestock have perished. These storms have affected parts of the region beginning in October 1999. Also, in January 2000, a cold wave was reported across portions of northern and eastern India with drought conditions across portions of Africa, especially in Kenya. Heavy snows also fell across portions of the Middle East at months end. Other global highlights for the month can be found at NOAA/OGP Special Global Summary for January 2000.