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A January of Wild Weather, Higher Than Average Temperatures, 6.8 Inches of Snow and A Lot of Rain

By Paul T. Choate

Feb. 1, 2013. After a wild January where temperatures ranged anywhere from 12 degrees to 68 degrees and nearly half the monthly rainfall happened in one day, we look back on the weather that was January 2013.

Photo by Jim Morton
Photo by Jim Morton

Jan. 12 saw an unprecedented high of 68.9 degrees at 1 p.m. in Boone. It was the third highest temperature recorded in January in over 30 years, based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1980 to present. It was also the hottest temperature recorded in January since 2002, when the mercury reached 70 degrees on Jan. 31 – the hottest ever recorded since 1980 based on NOAA’s data.

Based on data from the Southeastern Regional Climate Center (SRCC), the hottest temperature ever recorded in January was 78 degrees on Jan. 18, 1929.

It was also warmer on average than usual for this area for the second January in a row. January 2013 saw an average temperature of 37.8 degrees, nearly the same as the 37.7-degree average in January 2012. This is about six degrees higher than the historical average temperature for January in Boone, according to NOAA.

Photo by Jesse Wood

For the snow lovers, this January was at least an improvement over last year, though not ideal. January 2013 saw 9.8 inches of snow, most of which fell on Jan. 17 to the tune of 6.8 inches. Last year’s snowfall for January was only 4.5 inches.

It was also a rather windy January compared to what we’ve gotten used to over the past five years. At an average wind speed of 6.9 mph, that is over a mile per hour higher than the five-year average for January of 5.66 mph.  The highest wind gust in Boone was recorded on Jan. 24 at 4 a.m. at a speed of 46 mph, according to Ray’s Weather Center.

And what would a weather wrap up be without talking about the rain? Recently, it rained a lot. A whole lot. Based on data from the SRCC and NOAA dating back to 1929, Boone received one of the highest one-day rain totals in recorded history for January on Jan. 30 with 4.27 inches (the highest on record being 6.9 inches on Jan. 15, 1995). The heavy rainfall caused massive flooding around town and damaged several residences, businesses and vehicles. It also accounted for nearly half of the total January 2013 precipitation of 8.8 inches. This is significantly higher than NOAA’s historical average for January precipitation of 3.78 inches.

As we enter February 2013, we kick off with snow and bitter cold. Ray’s Weather is saying the high today will be 17 degrees, and the mercury isn’t expected to rise above 40 again until next Tuesday.

The weekend will see cold temperatures, with highs in the low to mid-30s and light snowfall off and on.

To keep up with the weather in our area, visit raysweather.com.

The Moose Lodge in Boone. The aftermath of The Flood. Photo by Ken Ketchie


Picking up the pieces. The aftermath of The Flood. Photo by Ken Ketchie


The Boone Mall during The Flood. Photo by Ken Ketchie


The Flood at rush-hour traffic on U.S. 321. Photo by Ken Ketchie


The plows are out around town. Photo by Ken Ketchie
The plows are out around town. Photo by Ken Ketchie


Snowmaking at App Ski Mountain. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Snowmaking at App Ski Mountain. Photo by Ken Ketchie


A view from Howard’s Knob after a snowy night. Photo by Ken Ketchie


Photo by Jesse Wood


Photo by Jim Morton
Grandfather Mountain on a 60 degree day in January. Photo by Jim Morton


Beech Sledding Hill
The Beech Sledding Hill – Photo by Ken Ketchie