The last full month of winter is getting right down to business.
Sunday’s daylong storm dropped 0.64 inches of rain on Walla Walla, setting a record for that date by beating the previous mark of 0.45 inches set in 1953.
In addition, a winter storm watch is in effect today and tonight with one to two inches of snow expected today and two to four inches possible overnight. This will be accompanied by below-freezing temperatures through Friday, according to the National Weather Service, meaning any snow that does fall is going to stick around for a while.
The storm should also help bulk up the snowpacks feeding the area’s streams and rivers, which were at 90 percent of average today, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Looking back at January, gray skies and rain but almost no snow were the rule for the first month of the new year.
Precipitation totaled 2.11 inches during the month, a mark .42 of an inch below normal. The heaviest rainfall, 0.61 inches, fell on Jan. 20, and that was followed by the only measurable snowfall, 1.5 inches on Jan. 21.
Overall, January was warmer than normal with average daytime highs of 43.5 degrees, which was 2.6 degrees above normal, and average nighttime lows of 32.9 degrees, a mark 2.8 degrees above normal.
The coldest night and the warmest day came back to back when the mercury sank to 24 degrees on Jan. 2 and then shot up to 58 degrees on Jan. 3.
The highest wind gust during the month was 48 mph on Jan. 5, as measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport.
According to the federal Climate Prediction Center, the outlook for this month calls for colder-than-normal temperatures and near-normal precipitation.
Normal highs for Walla Walla during February are 45.9 degrees, and normal lows are 32.4 degrees. Average precipitation is 1.76 inches, based on a 30-year average.