January's cold start won't last all month

The temperature and precipitation for the month should average near normal in the Tri-Cities, despite the cold start to January, according to the National Weather Service.

Normal highs for the Tri-Cities during January are 40.6 degrees and normal lows are 27.3 degrees. Normal precipitation is 1.05 inches.

Last month was the fourth wettest on record for the Tri-Cities, according to the weather service. Precipitation totaled 2.28 inches during December 2010. The wettest December had 3.47 inches of precipitation in 1973.

At Hanford, where temperature records are kept back to 1945, a daily record high of 59 degrees was set Dec. 12.

Temperatures averaged 35.7 degrees for the month in the Tri-Cities, which was 1.1 degrees above normal. High temperatures averaged 41.1 degrees, which was 0.1 degree above normal, and low temperatures averaged 30.3 degrees, which was 2 degrees above normal.

The highest temperature of the month in the Tri-Cities was 60 degrees on Dec. 14. The lowest was 15 degrees on the last day of the month.

The temperature fell below freezing on 17 days and on two days the high temperature did not reach freezing.

At Hanford the highest temperature was the high record on Dec. 12 and the lowest was 12 degrees on the last day of the month.

Precipitation was 1.12 inches above normal in the Tri-Cities, with 14 days having measurable precipitation. The heaviest precipitation was 0.93 inch on Dec. 29.

Snowfall in the Tri-Cities totaled 2.3 inches, with the heaviest snowfall of 1.2 inches on Dec. 18. The most snow on the ground was 2 inches on Dec. 1.

At Hanford, the month started with 6 inches of snow on the ground, the greatest accumulation of the month. Throughout December 7.7 inches of snow fell. Precipitation totaled 1.72 inches.