January 2012 the fourth warmest for the contiguous United States

Locations across Alaska record cold for the month


January 2012 climate stats.

(Credit: NOAA)

During January, warmer-than-average conditions enveloped most of the contiguous United States, with widespread below-average precipitation. The overall weather pattern for the month was reflected in the lack of snow for much of the Northern Plains, Midwest, and Northeast. This scenario was in stark contrast to Alaska where several towns had their coldest January on record.

This monthly analysis from NOAA is part of the suite of climate services we provide government, business and community leaders so they can make informed decisions.

The average contiguous U.S. temperature in January was 36.3 degrees F, 5.5 degrees F above the 1901-2000 long-term average -- the fourth warmest January on record, and the warmest since 2006. Precipitation, averaged across the nation, was 1.85 inches. This was 0.37 inch below the long-term average, with variability between regions.

U.S. Climate Highlights – January 

U.S. Climate Highlights – Winter to Date (December 2011-January 2012)

U.S. Climate Highlights – Last 12 months (February 2011-January 2012)

Read more about the full January U.S. Climate Update Report at:

Media Contact: Katy Vincent, 828-257-3136

Posted Feb. 7, 2012 NOAA logo.