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January 2011
North Country Monthly Climate Summary

TEMPERATURE SUMMARY...

For the month of January, daytime high temperatures were near to slightly above average, while overnight lows were near to below average. Temperatures across Vermont and northern New York were unseasonably mild for the first couple of days in January, as high temperatures reached 50 degrees in some locations. However, a couple periods of modified Arctic air spread across the North Country during January - most notably on January 24th. This resulted in bitterly cold low temperatures that in some locations reached at or below -30 degrees.

TEMPERATURE STATISTICS ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY...

  Burlington Montpelier Massena Saint Johnsbury
Avg. Temp 18.2 14.6 14.2 15.5
Departure +0.2 -1.8 +0.6 -1.5
Highest 51 on 1st 46 on 1st-2nd 53 on 1st 41 on 1st
Lowest -19 on 24th -22 on 24th -29 on 24th -26 on 24th

Below are daily temperature graphs for the month of January for Burlington, Montpelier, Massena, and Saint Johnsbury.

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PRECIPITATION SUMMARY...

A weather pattern featuring a suppressed storm track well to the south of the North Country led to below-average precipitation totals for the month of January. Liquid precipitation deficits between 0.5" to 2.5" were common across Vermont and northern New York. Snowfall for the month of January was also below average for many locations.

PRECIPITATION STATISTICS ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY...

  Burlington Montpelier Massena Saint Johnsbury
Monthly Total " 1.44 1.62 .29 1.56
Departure -0.78 -1.14 -2.27 -1.32
Greatest 24hr 0.49 on 12th-13th 0.59 on 12th-13th 0.11 on 15th-16th 0.54 on 12th-13th
SNOW/SLEET
Monthly Total " 26.9
Greatest 24hr 9.3


BURLINGTON FORECAST AREA ACCUMULATED MONTHLY PRECIPITATION (IN INCHES) FOR THE MONTH OF January

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BURLINGTON FORECAST AREA ACCUMULATED MONTHLY SNOWFALL (IN INCHES) FOR THE MONTH OF January

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MONTHLY WEATHER PATTERNS AND GLOBAL CLIMATE DRIVERS...

The 500 MB anomaly pattern for January showed above-average upper-level geopotential heights (indicated by warmer colors in Figure 7) across the East Pacific, northern Canada and across Greenland, with lower than average geopotential heghts (indicated by colder colors in Figure 7) across the eastern U.S. and the north-central Atlantic Ocean. One of the major climate drivers during the winter months for the eastern U.S. is the state of the Arctic Oscillation (AO). Negative values of the Arctic Oscillation often result in similar 500 MB anomaly patterns as that shown in Figure 7. Atmospheric circulation patterns often associated with negative AO values include a "blocking pattern" in the higher latitudes of the northern Atlantic Ocean (reflected in the warmer colors, e.g. upper-level ridging, over northeast Canada and Greenland in Figure 7). Negative AO patterns often lead to surges of Arctic air that push southward across the U.S. Plains. This bitterly cold Arctic air can then spread across the southeastern states, which can result in unusual winter weather across the Southeast. Unseasonably cold temperatures were common across a large part of the Southeast during January. A storm track suppressed to the south across southern New England resulted in several snow events for southern New England and the northern mid-Atlantic states. However, the storm track was far removed away from northern New England. This limited monthly precipitation totals across northern New England during January.

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Burlington
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Page last modified: April 1, 2011
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Figure 1: Burlington Monthly Temperature Trend
Figure 2: Montpelier Monthly Temperature Trend
Figure 3: Massena Monthly Temperature Trend
Figure 4: Saint Johnsbury Temperature Trend
Figure 5: Monthly Precipitation Map
Figure 6: Monthly Snowfall Map
Figure 7: 500MB Geopotential Height Anomalies
Figure 8: Climate Prediction Center Precipitation Outlook
Figure 9: Climate Prediction Center Temperature Outlook