National Overview - January 2004


NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.

Maps and Graphics:

January Most Recent 3 Months Most Recent 6 Months
Annual summary for 2003 Most Recent 12 Months US Percent Area Very Wet/Dry/Warm/Cold

It should be emphasized that all of the temperature and precipitation ranks and values are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages. Graphics based on final data are available on this page: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/maps.php

For graphics covering periods other than those mentioned above or for tables of national, regional, statewide and selected city data from 1895-present, for January, last 3 months or other periods, please go to the Climate At A Glance page
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National Overview:

Temperatures were near average for the nation as a whole with much cooler than average conditions across much of the Northeast and warmth remaining in some southern states.

The precipitation signal was mixed across the country with drier than average conditions along the Atlantic seaboard and the extreme southwestern portion of the U.S.

For additional details, see the Monthly Highlights section. For details and graphics on weather events across the U.S. and the globe go to NCDC's Global Hazards page, (available on February 17th)

Snow was heavy in parts of the Midwest, eastern seaboard and New York state in January. Extreme lake effect snows impacted areas of western New York State with some parts of Oswego County, NY recording over 130 inches of snow for the month and over 3 feet for a single 3-day event near the end of January.
Details of the 2003/2004 snow season can be found on NCDC's monthly snow summary page, available on February 17th.

Indices used to determine the state of ENSO suggest that the Equatorial Pacific was in a neutral ENSO phase and Sea Surface Temperatures were near normal across the equatorial Pacific during January. To see the latest NOAA advisory and typical impacts of a La Nina or El Nino episode for the U.S., go to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
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Monthly and Seasonal Highlights:

National:

  • January 2004 ranked as the 49th coldest January in the 1895 to present record. The preliminary nationally averaged temperature was 30.7°F (-0.7°C), which was 0.2°F (0.1°C) below the long-term mean.
  • January 2004 was slightly drier than average for precipitation nationally, ranking 30th driest.

    For tables of national, regional, statewide and selected city data from 1895-present, for January, last 3 months or other periods, please go to the Climate At A Glance page

  • November-January temperature was above average and ranked as the 24th warmest such period in the 1895 to present record. The preliminary nationally averaged temperature for November-January was 37.0°F (2.8°C) which was 1.3°F (0.7°C) above the long-term mean.
  • November-January 2004 was near average for precipitation in 2004, ranking 61st driest in the last 109 years.

  • February-January 2004 ranked as the 14th warmest such period in the 1895 to present record. The preliminary nationally averaged temperature was 53.8°F (12.1°C) which was 1.0°F (0.6°C) above the long-term mean.
  • Precipitation was average to slightly above average for February-January leading to a rank of 32nd wettest for the last 12 months based on a record of 109 such periods.

    Regional and Statewide:

  • January 2004 ranked much below average temperature for five states (ME, VT, MA, CT, RI), including Massachusetts which had its coldest January on record. The Northeast ranked much colder than average (11th coldest on record) for the month of January.
  • Alaska temperatures were below normal for January with a statewide average anomaly of -4.9°F (-2.7°C) compared to the 1971-2000 mean.
  • January was much drier than average for five eastern states (ME, NH, VT, MA, NC).
  • For the Hard Red Winter Wheat Belt, preliminary data indicate that precipitation was above average for January, but slightly below average for the season so far. The growing season for the Hard Red Winter Wheat is November-February.
  • The 3 month period, November-January, was much warmer than average for Oklahoma and warmer than average for much of the central part of the country. Only Massachusetts averaged significantly cooler than the long term mean.
  • November-January 2004 was much wetter than average for West Virginia and Michigan, with a mixed signal across much of the rest of the nation averaged over the early winter.
  • The last 12 months were much above average warmth for 10 states. States averaging cooler than the long-term mean were confined to the Southeast and Northeast.
  • The last 12 months were record wet for 5 Mid Atlantic states. Dry conditons prevailed across parts of the Upper Midwest and New Mexico had its 7th driest such 12 months on record.

See NCDC's Monthly Extremes web-page for weather and climate records for the month of January.

An in-depth annual review of U.S. climate in 2003 is available at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2003/ann

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It should be emphasized that all of the temperature and precipitation ranks and values are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages. Graphics based on final data are available on this page: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/maps.php

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: National Overview for January 2004, published online February 2004, retrieved on November 29, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2004/1.