January warmer, dryer than normal

<I>Elane Dickenson/Chieftain</I><BR>Wallowa Lake resident Cynthia Hilden takes dog Molly for her daily walk while the snow falls Sunday morning, Jan. 31.

The prevalent perception that January was a balmy month for winter in Wallowa County was borne out by preliminary data released by the National Weather Service in Pendleton.

The average temperature at the Joseph recording station for the month was 30.3 degrees, which was 3.1 degrees above normal.

High temperatures averaged 36.6 degrees Fahrenheit, which was 0.4 degrees above normal. The highest was a warm 51 degrees on Jan. 12.

Low temperatures averaged 23.9 degrees, a whopping 5.8 degrees above normal. The lowest was 12 degrees on Jan. 8.

There were 30 days with the low temperature below 32 degrees, and nine days when the high temperature stayed below 32 degrees.

Precipitation totaled 0.97 inches during January, which was .19 inches below normal.

Measurable precipitation - at least .01 inch- was received on 11 days with the most, .32 inches, reported on Sunday, Jan. 31.

Snowfall totaled 8.6 inches with at least one inch of snow reported on two days. The heaviest snowfall was 4.3 inches reported on Jan. 31, with the greatest depth of snow on the ground six inches, also on Jan. 31.

Since October, the water year precipitation at Joseph has been 5.07 inches, which is .25 inches above normal.

The outlook for February from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center calls for above normal temperatures and near to below normal precipitation.

Normal highs for Joseph during February are 40.3 degrees and normal lows are 19.9 degrees. The 30-year normal precipitation is 0.97 inches.

The National Weather Service is an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.

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