by Robert K. Peters, Ph.D. - National Weather Service Cooperating Observer
The month of January 2004 saw near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation. The month began very warm, cooled, warmed around mid-month, and then cooled again. The month was 3.9 deg. warmer than January 2003, and 2.34 inches wetter. Precipitation during the twelve months ending January 31 was about 101 percent of normal. The thirty-day outlook for January 2004 had called for below normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
The week December 28, 2003-January 3, 2004 saw temperatures 9 deg. warmer than normal, and rainfall about 150 percent of normal. A storm system and cold front crossed on the 28th, bringing general and soaking rains to the area. This lowered temperatures until the evening of the 31st, when Tropical Maritime air returned rapidly from the Gulf of Mexico. The return southerly flow returned temperatures to very much above normal levels, with readings on the 2nd and 3rd about 20 deg. warmer than normal. A weak disturbance crossed on the 1st, and brought areas of light rainfall. Conditions were windy on the 2nd and 3rd as a new storm system and cold front approached.
A few stations set record high temperatures on the 2nd. The week's average temperature was 55.7 deg., and rainfall was 1.78 inches. The week was 1.6 deg. warmer than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2002-2003, the week was 6.2 deg. warmer, and 0.18 inch drier.
The week January 4-10, 2004 saw temperatures 5 deg. colder than normal, and rainfall about 20 percent of normal. For much of the week, modified Arctic air was in control of the area's weather. Fronts on the 4th and 8th were accompanied by light rain, which brought the week's only rainfall. Conditions were windy on the 4th and 5th, and again on the 8th and 9th. The week's average temperature was 41.5 deg., and rainfall was 0.09 inch. The week was 4.4 deg. colder than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2003, the week was 6.5 deg. colder. There was no rain during the week in 2003.
The week January 11-17 was an abrupt change from the previous week, with temperatures running 9 deg. above normal, and rainfall about 150 percent of normal. Modified Polar Continental air was over the region early in the week. It was replaced on the 13th by Tropical Maritime air, which persisted through the end of the week. A weak cold front on the 15th brought slightly lower temperatures, and some light rain. Overrunning rainfall developed on the 13th as the Tropical Maritime air moved into the region from the south. A crossing upper air storm on the night of the 16th/17th brought general rains to the area, with amounts of as much as four inches southwest of Tyler. The week's average temperature was 55.5 deg., and rainfall was 1.31 inches. The week was 14.0 deg. warmer than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2003, the week was 17.0 deg. warmer, and 1.09 inches wetter.
The week January 18-24 saw temperatures 2 deg. colder than normal, and near normal rainfall. For much of the week modified Arctic air covered the region, with a warming trend beginning at mid-week culminating in Tropical Maritime air being present on the 24th. Upper air disturbances which accompanied a cold front on the 18th brought the week's rainfall. The cold air was reinforced on the 20th. The week's average temperature was 45.6 deg., which was 9.9 deg. colder than the previous week. Precipitation was 0.65 inch. The week was 1.7 deg. warmer than the same week in 2003, and there was no rainfall last year.
The week January 25-31 saw temperatures 3 deg. colder than normal, and near normal rainfall. A storm system which preceded a cold front on the night of the 24th/25th was responsible for most of the week's rain. This storm, and a second on the 29th, produced heavy rainfall over the southeastern part of the region. It also returned modified Arctic air, which persisted through the 29th when warmer air began to override the surface cold air layer. This produced considerable cloudiness on the 30th and 31st. The week's average temperature was 45.5 deg., which was 0.1 deg. cooler than the previous week. Rainfall was 0.85 inch. Compared with the same week in 2003, the week was 4.4 deg. cooler, and 0.47 inch wetter.
The reporting period for temperatures and phenomenon on each day is for the twenty-four hours ending at midnight hours GMT--6 p.m. CST and 7 p.m. CDT. The reporting period for precipitation is for the twenty-four hours ending at noon GMT--6 a.m. CST and 7 a.m. CDT. All times are given using the twenty-four hour clock, and are expressed in Greenwich Mean Time.
Observations are from NWS Station 41/9207/4 in Tyler, Texas. The term "normal" refers to averages from the standard climatic period 1971-2000.
MX MN OBS PCPN REMARKS
January 2004, RECORDS AND SUMMARY: