For most of the month of January...The weather over the Midsouth felt more like early Spring than the middle of Winter. A persistent Pacific jet stream was the biggest weather feature that contributed to the warm conditions. This jet stream provided most of the country with mild Pacific air and prevented any Arctic air-masses from traveling into the united states. As a result...all four climate locations in the Midsouth recorded temperatures that ranked among the top five all time warmest Januaries.
January 2006 will go down as the third warmest in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Their average temperature was 46.1 degrees...which is 10.5 degrees above normal. 1923 remains the warmest on record (1895-2006) with an average temperature of 47.4 degrees.
Memphis International Airport ended the month with an average temperature of 49.6 degrees. This is 9.7 degrees above normal and ranks as the third warmest January on record (1931-2006). The warmest January on record occurred in 1933 with an average temperature of 50.3 degrees.
Mckellar-Snipes airport in Jackson, Tennessee finished the month 8.5 degrees above normal with a monthly average of 46.3 degrees. This ties 1990 for the second warmest January since full records were started back in 1949. 1950 remains the warmest January on record with a temperature of 48.8 degrees.
It was the fifth warmest January for Tupelo, Mississippi. The average temperature for Tupelo was 49.4 degrees. That is 9.0 degrees above normal. January 1937 is the warmest on record (1930-2006) with an average temperature of 51.3 degrees.
The fortunate result of such a warm pattern was the increased rainfall across the region. All stations reported above normal rainfall. Jackson, Tennessee measured 7.52 inches...making it the eighth wettest January. Memphis and Tupelo did not set any records but still recorded an impressive 7.17 and 6.68 inches respectively. Jonesboro was only slightly above normal with 3.92 inches.
So what does February hold in store for the Midsouth? The current monthly outlook issued by the Climate Prediction Center predicts below normal temperatures and above normal preciptation.
From The Nataional Weather Service