By DAVID GREEN
Chilly December weather carried right on into January for the second consecutive month of below-average temperatures.
December finished up -4.5° below normal, said Morenci’s National Weather Service climate observer George Isobar, and January followed at -2.8° below the average.
“We barely had our January thaw,” Isobar said. “The first two days of the year were in the 50s, then down it went.”
It wasn’t a really frigid month, Isobar said. Daytime temperatures were in the 20s and 30s with the exception of two days in the teens.
“There were just a lot of cold overnight temperatures,” he said. “We ended up with 12 single-digit readings that included two at zero and three below zero. That’s pretty chilly for us.”
The low for the month was recorded on the morning of Jan. 23 at -6°. The high came Jan. 1 at 54°.
Snowfall for the month came in at 9.7 inches which is close to normal for January.
“There wasn’t a lot of snow,” Isobar said, “but the ground was white for 21 days last month. Four inches fell on the 11th and then it stayed pretty well covered for the remainder of the month.”
There was a base of four inches leading into February—the snowy month of the season.
Melted precipitation measured 1.48 inches which is about half an inch light for January.
Isobar recorded a light glaze on the 19th and thick fog the day before.
If January was light on precipitation and only average on snow, February will take care of that.
“We exceeded our February average in the first five days,” Isobar said. “It should end up one of our snowiest Februaries in the past few decades.”
Typically, about 7.5 inches of snow falls in February.