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New year remains warm but with more moisture

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

January is sticking with the warmer-than-normal trend seen through much of last year, although moisture conditions improved slightly, according to weather records maintained by the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center.

Daytime highs in January were warmer than normal, coming in at 43 degrees. That's nearly 2 degrees warmer than the long-term normal.

It was much the same for minimum temperatures.

That put the January mean temperature at 30.4 degrees, 1.7 degrees warmer than normal.

But precipitation in January hit 0.76 of an inch, nearly a third of an inch more than what would be considered normal during the past 145 years.

Most of the moisture was a result of two snowfalls in January -- 4.6 inches Jan. 1 and 3.3 inches Wednesday.

Tucked in between was a record high of 74 degrees Jan. 28, a degree higher than the 73 set in 1950.

It was warmer but drier in the Colby area in January, according to weather records from the Northwest Kansas Research and Extension Service near Colby.

The average high in January stood at 44 degrees, while the low was 15.

But precipitation amounted to just 0.16 of an inch, with snowfall measuring just 0.1 of an inch.

It was similar in Goodland as well, according to the National Weather Service office there.

The average high in January was 45.2 degrees, the low 15.5 degrees.

Precipitation amounted to 0.07 of an inch, 0.31 of an inch below normal.

Less than an inch of snow was reported in Goodland in January, well below the normal of 5.9 inches.

At Hill City, January's mean temperature was 29.6 degrees.

Only 0.09 of an inch of precipitation was recorded, well below the average of 0.45 of an inch.