Why January 2018 was month of weather extremes

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RICHMOND, Va. — January opened with a stretch of bitterly cold days and nights, producing the coldest low temperature since 1985.  The month averaged over two degrees below normal.  The harsh arctic air was balanced a bit by some bursts of temperatures well above normal.

Here are the daily high temperatures at Richmond International Airport.  Highs were below normal 55% of the month.

In contrast, 71% of the overnight lows were below normal.

A few different systems produced a total of 5.3″ of snow, which was about an inch and a half above normal.  The month had many dry days and a precipitation deficit, but rain on the final Sunday and Monday pushed us back above normal.

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