January 2024: just enough snow to keep winter hopes alive

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- After December's lackluster snowfall, a pattern shift towards wetter and colder weather became the dominant forcing for January. 

A winter storm from Jan. 12-13 followed by subzero temperatures and a strong lake effect event that produced just under three feet of snow for Michigan City, IN. refamiliarized our area with winter quickly. 

Despite the snow shortage in December, January was able to barely creep past the monthly average by less than half an inch.

More notably, the past month was much cloudier and foggier than usual.

There were 26 recorded days of overcast skies reported at South Bend International Airport, nine more days than the historical average.

On the ground, dense fog was an issue with visibility down to less than a quarter mile for some areas. 

Three consecutive dense fog advisories from Jan. 24-27 were prompted by heavy advection fog as warmer gulf air passed from the south over the pre-existing snowpack covering Michiana.

For reference, the entirety of 2023 had 14 dense fog advisories issued by the NWS Northern Indiana office. 

On Thursday, Jan. 25, 1,517 counties across the U.S. (including Michiana) had dense fog advisories with seven states (Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee) having all counties covered by the advisories.

Share this article: