If you opened your heating bill recently you may have suffered a chill — but State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says January actually finished out a bit on the warm side. Temperatures averaged almost 2 degrees above normal for this kind of year but he says weather was unusually bad, with freezing rain, rain and then a big snowstorm around the fifth of January. Hillaker says it was an unusually bad month for ice in Iowa. It began New Year’s morning for much of the state, he recalls, and around Mason City later that day there was over half-an-inch, a lot of freezing rain. The very next day there was more, and another round the day after that, as well as a few other episodes of the slippery icing later in the month. Hillaker says it was a normal January for total winter precipitation. We got off to a slow start in November and December with very little snowfall, but early January pretty much made up for that. With the ground frozen, none of the snow so far is affecting the coming summer growing season, he says.
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