Last month's near-normal temperatures in the lower 48 states were a perfect example why there is no such thing as normal weather.
Temperatures in those states in January averaged a scant one-tenth of 1 degree below average (using the 20th century as average), according to the National Climatic Data Center.
In reality, the weather had a split personality last month.
Record to near-record warmth occurred west of the Rockies and near-record cold occurred east of the Rockies, according to the climate center's monthly summary published Thursday.
Nebraska was on the dividing line between the differing air masses.
Here's the NCDC's temperature map for January.
With Nebraska straddling the two air masses, temperatures in the state averaged “average.” Iowa was colder than average.
This map depicts state rankings.
An interesting aspect of last month's temperatures: Monthlong record warmth occurred, but nowhere was there monthlong record cold.
As the planet warms, it's tougher for temperatures to drop as low as they used to. Last month was, however, the coldest January nationally since 2011.
Most of the nation was drier than normal:
The NCDC is the data gathering branch of the National Weather Service.
Source: National Climatic Data Center/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration