What is in this article?:
- January warm, dry across most of nation
- Weakening storms
• In the contiguous U.S., the average temperature for January was 36.3°F which is 5.5°F above normal range.
• This makes the month not only the fourth warmest of its kind in history, but also the warmest since 2006.
"One reason the central Plains have seen less-than-average precipitation has been due to the weakening of storms coming from the West," said Pigott.
"When these storms hit the Rockies, they tend to stall out and weaken in intensity."
However, this has not been the case for every state. Texas has actually seen above-average precipitation for the second month in a row. The state had not had two consecutive months of above-average precipitation since January-February 2010.
If March comes in like a Lamb...
The warm trend may continue through the end of February and into March, but temperatures are not expected to be as high as they were in January.
"It looks like the pattern will be similar for most of the country, but not to the same extent," said AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston.
"We are getting in a pattern where we're more susceptible to cold air masses coming down. However, that doesn't mean they're going to stay. They're still going to be progressive. That means cooler temperatures will come in for only a few days, then disappear again."
Intermittent stretches of cooler air will bring overall average temperatures closer to normal for the months ahead.
"The average will be somewhat above normal, though it won't be as above normal as January. But, it will be closer to normal," added Boston.
Boston also stated that he thinks temperatures in the Northeast will begin to drop "just in time for spring."
"Unfortunately, I can see a pattern developing where we will have cooler-than-normal weather in the Northeast starting later in March and continuing through April. We expect blocking to develop in the atmosphere," continued Boston.
"Basically, that means we'll see cooler air steered down into the eastern U.S. more frequently. I think that may be setting up in late March and into April, making the arrival of spring a little bit sluggish."
Boston also said that much of the rest of the contiguous U.S. will remain warmer with the possible exception of the Pacific Northwest.
"It may stay pretty active up there and get lots of rain and therefore keep their temperatures held down pretty well," said Boston.