Trend lines for Augusts and Januaries, 2010-2017
(Copyright © 2017 by Wil C. Fry. Some rights reserved.)
January 2017 was our second-warmest January since moving to Killeen, Texas (follow the blue trend line in the image above), with a high-low average (HLA) of 54.89°F, second only to January 2012 — our warmest year in recorded history. Though January averages as our coldest month, this January was warmer than most of our Februaries and most of our Decembers — and it was warmer than the averages for both February and December.
This is the third time since we’ve lived here that January was warmer overall than the immediately preceding December (the others were January 2012 and January 2014). So far, every time a December is cooler than the previous December, then the coming January will be warmer. January 2016 and 2017 represent the first time since we’ve lived here that January’s HLA has risen two years in a row.
Our high for the month was 82°F, on the 24th, which is about average for January. Our low was 16°F, on the 7th, which is well below average for the month. We set one daily record low (16°F on the 7th) and two daily record highs (80°F on the 11th and 78°F on the 12th).
Only four days dipped below freezing, all of them consecutive. This is the fewest freezing days for January since 2012. One day (the 6th) stayed below freezing, which is a first for January as long as we’ve lived here.
I measured 3.33 inches of rainfall for January 2017. This is above average, but our Januaries tend to switch back and forth from well above average (2.31″) to well below average. Ten days saw precipitation, second only to 12 in January 2015.
It’s too early to make predictions for this year, but I will note the following trends.
1. The last time January’s HLA was anywhere close to this, we had our warmest year in the history of this city (2012), and the four subsequent months (February-May, 2012) also set records — though February’s was broken in 2016.
2. The only two other times (2010 and 2014) we had a January low under 20°F, the year’s HLA turned out to be below average — and 2014 was the coolest of the past eight years. Obviously, this contradicts the HLA trend mentioned in #1. Only one of them will turn out to be true this year.
3. Every time January’s number of freezing days is below the current average, the year’s total of freezing days is below average.
4. The only other time we had 10 or more precip days in January (2015), it turned out to be the record rainfall year — with nearly 47 inches.