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Recap of January 2018 Weather for the 30-county NWS Hastings Coverage Area: 

January 2018 Precipitation

- Precipitation: January was defined by a northwest (wetter) to southeast (drier) precipitation disparity across the local area. Roughly 50-60% of the area observed at least slightly above normal precipitation, especially northwest of an Osceola-Hastings-Plainville KS line. Well-above normal precipitation (in some places at least 2-3 times normal!) was most concentrated northwest of a line from Genoa-Kearney-Elwood, thanks largely to a significant snow storm/blizzard that struck Jan. 21-22. On the drier side of things, especially areas east/southeast of a York-Superior-Osborne KS line averaged at least slightly below normal. Going into a bit more geographical detail, some of the overall-wettest counties (mainly from snow liquid equivalent) were Nance, Greeley, Valley, Howard and Sherman. A few of the highest totals per NWS/CoCoRaHS observers featured 2.39" at Belgrade, 2.08" nine miles northeast of Palmer, 1.40" at St. Paul and 1.32" four miles east of Scotia. In considerable contrast, some of the very driest counties were Fillmore, Thayer and Mitchell. This included the following NWS/CoCoRaHS stations: 0.16" two miles west-southwest of Tobias, 0.17" at Beloit KS, 0.20" at Geneva and 0.21" at Hebron. 

- Snowfall: Although there were a few light snow events here or there, BY FAR the biggest winter storm of the month occurred Jan. 21-22 (click here for a separate story detailing this event). While nearly all areas saw at least a few hours of blizzard/near-blizzard conditions thanks to strong north winds, there was a tremendous, north-to-south variation in snow totals across the coverage area, with most counties north of I-80 in Nebraska seeing a widespread 10-14", while most areas near/south of Highway 6 and down into north central Kansas only measured 1-4". Per official NWS observers, some of the highest January totals featured: 16.3" at Belgrade, 15.9" in St. Paul, 13.1" at Greeley and 12.9" three miles northeast of Shelby. On the opposite end of the snow spectrum, a few of the lowest monthly totals included 1" at Cawker City KS and 2.3" at Franklin. 

Temperatures: January was the third-consecutive month to feature two distinct temperature patterns, in this case highlighted by a cold start and a milder (albeit not overly-warm) finish. Officially, the month as a whole averaged slightly below normal (generally 1-3º) at most official NWS stations. However, when looking closer, the first half of the month averaged roughly 10º colder than the second half. As evidence of this, at Hastings airport, 12 of the first 17 days featured below-average temperatures, while 12 of the final 14 days averaged above normal. By far the most frigid day of the month came right away on New Year's Day, with highs only reaching the single digits above zero in most areas, following bitterly-cold morning lows mainly between -5 and -20º. At Grand Island, this was the 4th-coldest New Year's on record (per average temperature). When combining the cold start to January with the very cold finish to December, the cumulative 4-week period between Dec. 21-Jan. 17 was actually the overall-coldest 4-week stretch that parts of the area had seen since the winter of 1990-91, 27 years ago! During the latter half of the month, a few of the mildest days were the 19th and the 25th, with widespread high temperatures in the 50s and even some 60s (especially in KS). As for monthly extremes per official NWS observers, some of the warmest highs featured: 69º near Plainville KS, 67º near Alton KS and 66º at both Smith Center and Beloit KS. On the Nebraska side, Ord was actually one of the warm spots, briefly spiking up to 64º on the 19th. On the extreme opposite side of the thermometer, some of the most frigid lows (all on the 1st) included: -20º at Ravenna, and -19º at several sites, including Loup City, Greeley, Ord airport and three miles north of York. 

Severe Thunderstorms/High Wind Events: Other than a few lightning strikes associated with the strong winter storm/blizzard of Jan. 21-22, there was no "typical" thunderstorm activity during the month, let alone severe storms. As for non-thunderstorm high wind events, there were a few days with peak northerly gusts of 45-50+ MPH at various locations, including the 10th, 11th and 22 (during the winter storm/blizzard), but there were no widespread/organized damaging wind events featuring 60+ MPH winds. One of the highest official peak gusts of the month was 58 MPH at Hastings airport, during blizzard conditions on the 22nd. 

2018 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2018 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)
(for the 2018 tables, data for the previous month usually gets updated by around the 15th of the current month)

2017 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2017 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)

Archived Precipitation Tables And Monthly Climate Stories

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