Air temperature
The New Year in the ETR commenced with very warm weather: since the first day, new daily temperature maxima started to arise in the Moscow, Tula, Orel, Smolensk, Kaliningrad and other Regions. But later, the Arctic air rushed in these areas as well as in the northern regions of Russia, and frosts at the end of the first decade and at the beginning of the second one brought new temperature minima reaching -40° or below in the Volga region and Bashkiria as well as in the Ivanovo, Vladimir and Orenburg Regions. At the same time, the temperatures were down to -50° in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, and -60° or lower in Yakutia. In the second and third decades, abnormally cold weather survived in the east of the country only, and gave way to the warmth in the ETR where new daily temperature maxima were recorded in the Crimea and on the coast of the Krasnodar Territory. No such warm weather had been seen at this time of year for more than sixty years before. Right amid the winter, the thermometer readings rose above +20° sometimes. The unprecedented warm weather was also observed in Central Russia (Smolensk, Bryansk, Orel and other Regions) as well as beyond the Arctic Circle. But the weather in the east of the country was very cold still: the thermometers in Trans-Baikal, in the Amur Region, in the Khabarovsk and Primorye Territories and on Sakhalin indicated record-breaking low values. On Sakhalin, a new absolute minimum temperature for January was set to -44.9°.
As a result, the monthly-averaged temperatures turned out to be noticeably higher than usual in the north of the ETR, in some parts of Central Russia and in the south of Western Siberia (with +1…4° and higher anomalies). In contrast, these monthly averages in the north of Siberia, in Yakutia and in the Far East were 2-8° below normal. January in the 21st century was never so cold in the south of the Far East, and was the third coldest in its north after January 2021 and January 2001 which were even colder there.
In the countries of East Asia, the average temperatures in January were close to normal everywhere except for the north-eastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang where they were noticeably lower than normal. There, the air temperature dropped below -50° for the first time since the late sixties of the previous century, and reached the record-breaking minimum of -53° on the night of January 22. The unprecedented colds were also recorded in Taiwan. Frosts came to Tokyo; this was extremely rare for the capital of Japan.
The monthly-averaged air temperatures in South-East Asia turned out to be about normal, albeit that against a negative background of anomalies.
In warmth-pampered India, the temperature averages in January were also close to normal: against a positive background in the centre of the country, and against a negative one in the extreme south and in the north. In mid-January, the air reckoned as very cold by local inhabitants penetrated into the capital Delhi located in the north of the country and froze the thermometers at +4°. The city was partially paralysed, educational institutions and small shops were closed, and flights at the airport, cancelled.
Central Asia and the Middle East were the territories where the weather was much colder than usual. The monthly-averaged temperatures were 2-4° below normal in Afghanistan and Iran, and in the south of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, but to the west of these areas, roughly matched the normal values in the Middle East or even exceeded them by two or more degrees in Turkey.
In North Africa, the temperatures were close to normal or were slightly above-normal in some places. As a rule, the normal figures were observed against a positive background of anomalies, with the exception of the north-east (in Algeria and Morocco) where the background of anomalies was negative.
In Europe, numerous records of heat were being set starting from the first days of the New Year (in Germany, France, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Ukraine, in the Czech Republic, in Switzerland, Luxembourg, etc.), with the thermometer readings rising above +20°. In the middle of the month, these records reached the south-east of the continent (Bulgaria and Romania). In the bottom line, the normal air temperatures in Europe were surpassed by 2-4 or more degrees everywhere save for the Iberian Peninsula, and this January became the third warmest in the meteorological annals of the continent, yielding to January 2007 and January 2020 only when the weather was even warmer.
Very warm weather prevailed in North America: the temperature averages in January were 2-4 or more degrees higher than normal everywhere from the Great Lakes and New England in the US and further from Quebec and Newfoundland to the Arctic territories in Canada. Seven states in the north-east of the US, namely, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maine, experienced the warmest January in their history. The average air temperature roughly matched the normal value in the west only, mostly against a negative background of anomalies, but also against a positive one in certain places. The weather in Alaska was remarkably warmer than usual (with anomalies of +2-4°). But the colds still penetrated far to the south sometimes: thus, the thermometer readings in Cuba dropped to +1.5° in the middle of the month. Ultimately, the monthly-averaged temperature in the USA entered the top five highest-ranked ones.
In Moscow, the average temperature in January was -4.7° which was quite commonplace for this month.
Sea Surface Temperature
In the Pacific Ocean, La Niña was active for the thirtieth month in a row already, demonstrating the symptoms of its weakening. For example, the area occupied by negative SST anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere shrunk considerably. The SST was normal in most of the Pacific Ocean, but higher than that in the east of temperate latitudes (anomalies up to and higher than +2°) or along the Asian coast (anomalies over +1°), and lower than normal in the Sea of Okhotsk and its adjacent water areas.
In the Atlantic Ocean, the absolute maximum of the monthly-averaged SST first reached in January 2002 and then repeated in January 2004 and January 2022 was reproduced. The SST was normal or above-normal in almost the entire water basin of the Ocean in the Northern Hemisphere. The largest anomalies were observed along the North American (anomalies up to and higher than +2…3°) and the European coasts (anomalies up to and higher than +1…2°). The water in the Greenland and Barents Seas in the north of the Ocean was notably warmer than commonly observed. Negative anomalies were recorded off the coast of Greenland and in a number of water areas in the central part of the Ocean.
In the ETR, precipitation in January was scarce with the exception of the North-West Federal District where it was normal, and of the Leningrad, Novgorod and Pskov Regions as well as of the Republic of Karelia where the normal values were exceeded by 1.5-2.0 times and new daily maxima of precipitation totals were recorded in some places. The monthly precipitation totals in the rest of the ETR did not generally reach the normal values apart from the Tver, Yaroslavl and Smolensk Regions. The figures in the south were altogether low – less than half of the normal amount in most constituent entities of the Federation. In the south-east of the Krasnodar Territory, the weather in January was dry.
The precipitation amounts were basically normal in the Urals, and only in the north were somewhat greater in the Yamal-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Districts.
Siberia, save for Taimyr and Khakassia, was the territory where a lot of precipitation was observed. In its south, the normal amounts were exceeded by 1.5-2.5 times in the Tomsk, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo Regions as well as in the Republics of Altai and Tyva. The maximum precipitation was recorded in Novosibirsk.
In the Far East, precipitation was normal in the north everywhere except for Chukotka, and normal or sub-normal in the south. Heavy snowfalls hit the Amur Region bringing up to 24 mm of daily atmospheric moisture to some places.
In China, the precipitation amounts were normal or above-normal in the east and west of the country, and sub-normal in the central and southern provinces, as was the case in Mongolia. Pelting rains poured in Taiwan. In Japan, precipitation was about normal, but heavy snowfalls on the Island of Honshu in the third decade need be mentioned: they brought up to 60-80 mm of snow per day and triggered avalanches at ski resorts, leading to fatalities.
Precipitation was normal or above-normal in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia, and almost completely absent in Thailand. Rains caused floods in Central Java (Indonesia).
No rains were observed in South Asia (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), as was expected for January.
The weather in the Near and Middle East was mostly dry, but with occasional rains on the Arabian Peninsula and in Iran, and with ample precipitation in the western regions of Turkey where up to 50 mm of rainwater per day, i.e., up to a third of the normal monthly amount, fell on the coast of the Aegean Sea.
The weather in Central Asia was dry in the south, and moderately rainy or snowy in the north where the normal figures were exceeded by 1.5-2.0 times in certain locations of Kazakhstan.
Almost no rains fell in North Africa. This led to a drought in Tunisia where only a fifth of the normal rainwater amount was received in the last three months.
In Europe, the precipitation quantities were sub-normal in Portugal and Spain, in the south of France and in the Alpine territories, and normal or above-normal in the rest of the continent. The normal amounts were exceeded by 1.5-2.5 times in Germany, Lithuania and Belarus as well as in the countries of Central Europe and in the Balkans. Pelting rains resulted in daily rainwater totals reaching the normal monthly ones in Belarus, and caused the rivers to overflow their banks in Serbia.
The weather in Canada was so dry that the monthly precipitation totals were less than half of their normal values in most of the country, with the exception of the province of Yukon in the north-west and the province of Newfoundland in the south-east where the normal precipitation amounts were reached, or exceeded in places. The USA, the southern neighbour of Canada, received a lot of atmospheric moisture this January. The precipitation quantities recorded from the Pacific to the Atlantic, i.e., across the entire country, can be considered significant given that the normal values were exceeded by 1.5-2.0 or more times everywhere save for the states of Washington and Oregon in the north-west, Texas in the south-west and Florida in the south-east; precipitation received in these states was less than usual. At the beginning of the month, heavy rains hit California and caused catastrophic flooding there. In the third decade, snowfalls covered the country from the Midwest to the north-east and hid the states of Wisconsin, Kansas, Kentucky, Colorado, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska, New York and Ohio under a white blanket up to 60 cm thick, blocking many motor roads.
The weather in Mexico and Central America was mostly dry.
In Moscow, the precipitation total in January amounted to 35 mm, or 66% of the normal quantity.