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January 2012  

  • Tulsa: January 2012 was the 7th warmest (44.2°F, tied with 1914; since 1905), the 24th driest (0.61"; since 1888), and the 35th least snowiest (0.5", tied with 1907, 1935; since 1900) January on record.  Interestingly, January 2011 was the 23rd driest on record.
  • Fayetteville: Daily records set or tied this month include record rainfall on 01/10/2012, 01/25/2012.
  • Rainfall totals for January 2012 ranged from only a few hundredths of an inch in northern Osage and northern Washington Counties in northeast OK to around 7” in southeast OK and west central AR.  Locations southeast of an Okmulgee, OK to Bentonville, AR line generally received 2”-5” of rain, which corresponds to 110%-300% of the normal January rainfall.  However, north of this line, less than 2” fell this month.  This means that this area received less than 75% of the normal January rain, with locations near the OK/KS state line only seeing 0%-25% of the normal January rainfall.
  • A significant rain event occurred across the area beginning on the evening of the 24th and continuing through the 25th.  Widespread rainfall totals of 3”-4” occurred across southeast and east central OK, as well as west central AR, with some locations receiving 4”-6” of rain.  However, northwest of I-44, less than 0.75” of rain fell, with portions of Osage and Washington Counties near the OK/KS state line only receiving a few hundredths of an inch or less of rain.  The following is a list of some of the highest measured rainfall totals: 4ENE of Daisy, OK 5.28”; Clayton, OK 4.34”; 4NNE Clayton 4.28”; 14WNW of Clayton 4.07”; and 1SE Clayton 4.04”.  All of this rainfall led to some flash flooding and river flooding in southeast OK and west central AR. 
  • Moderate flood stage was exceeded along the Poteau River near Panama, with minor flooding along the Poteau River near Poteau, and the Kiamichi River near Antlers due to the rainfall event on January 24-25.
  • According to the Drought Monitor from January 31, 2012, extreme drought (D3) conditions encompassed a large portion of Osage County.  Severe drought (D2) conditions stretched across most of Pawnee, Osage, Washington, and northwest Nowata Counties in eastern OK.  Moderate drought (D1) conditions were found across portions of Craig, Nowata, Rogers, Washington, Tulsa, Creek, and Okfuskee Counties in eastern OK (see Figs. 2 & 3).  Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions affected portions of Ottawa, Delaware, Craig, Mayes, Rogers, Wagoner, Okmulgee, and northern Cherokee Counties in eastern OK, and Benton County in northwest AR.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS) for January 2012, northeast OK ranked as the 12th driest, east central OK ranked as the 22nd wettest, and southeast OK ranked as the 13th wettest January since records began in 1921. 
  • The Climate Prediction Center CPC outlook for  February 2012 (issued January 31, 2012) indicates a strongly enhanced chance for above normal temperatures across eastern OK and northwest AR. This outlook also indicates a slightly enhanced chance for above median precipitation across northwest AR and equal chances for above, near, and below median precipitation elsewhere. This outlook was based primarily on short-term dynamical computer models with La Niña impacts considered.
  • For the 3-month period Jan-Feb-Mar 2012, CPC is forecasting an enhanced chance for above average temperatures and equal chances for above, near, and below median precipitation across all of eastern OK and northwest AR (outlook issued January 19, 2012). This outlook is consistent with a La Niña pattern.
  • According to CPC, moderate La Niña conditions remained in place at the end of January. La Niña conditions are forecast to continue through Spring 2012, with a transition to ENSO-neutral conditions expected during the summer.