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January 2014

  • Despite some wintery precipitation at the beginning of the month, January 2014 was very dry across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.
  • Using the radar-derived estimated observed precipitation from the RFCs, rainfall totals for January 2014 ranged from less than 0.10” in portions of Creek and Okfuskee Counties in northeast Oklahoma to around a measly 2” in Washington County in northwest Arkansas. This resulted in below normal precipitation for the entire area for January. The most severe deficits occurred along and northwest of an Okemah to Wagoner to Vinita line in eastern Oklahoma. This area received less than 25% of the normal January rainfall, with southwest Creek and western Okfuskee County receiving less than 5% of the January normal. The remainder of eastern Oklahoma and much of west central Arkansas received 10%-50% of the normal rainfall this month, while northwest Arkansas generally had 25%-75% of the January normal.
  • No mainstem river flooding occurred this month.
  • The last 2/3s of January were dry, despite several cold front passages. One of these cold fronts moved through during the evening of the 26th, bringing a rapid change in wind speed behind the front. It was like a wall of wind hit, with sudden gusts of 40-55 mph across a large portion of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. Fig.  The meteogram from the Oklahoma Mesonet site in Tulsa showed the sharp change in the wind when the front hit at ~10pm. The winds went from 5-10mph to 50mph within 5 minutes.
  • According to the Drought Monitor from January 28, 2014, Abnormally Dry (D0), but not experiencing drought, conditions remained in Choctaw County and expanded into Osage, Pawnee, Washington, Creek, Tulsa, Rogers, Nowata, Craig, Mayes, and northern Wagoner Counties in eastern Oklahoma.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, the 30-day period from January 1-30, 2014 was the 9th driest for northeast Oklahoma, the 18th driest for east central Oklahoma, and the 17th driest for southeast Oklahoma. Records go back to 1921.
  • The Climate Prediction Center CPC outlook for February 2014 (issued January 31, 2013) indicates a slightly enhanced chance for below normal temperatures across all but southeast Oklahoma, where there are equal chances for above, near, and below temperatures. This outlook also indicates equal chances for above, near, and below median precipitation across all of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. This outlook is based primarily on short term forecasts of expected weather conditions during the first half of the month, especially the first week of February, as well as longer term climate anomalies.
  • For the 3-month period February-March-April 2014, CPC is forecasting a slightly enhanced chance for above normal temperatures and equal chances for above, near, and below median rainfall across all of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas (outlook issued January 16, 2013).  This outlook is based on both statistical and dynamical forecast tools.
  • According to CPC, ENSO neutral conditions remained through January. ENSO neutral conditions are expected to continue into Summer 2014.