AUSTIN (KXAN) — As we head deeper into our third La Niña winter, the outlook from the Climate Prediction Center is a familiar one for next month.

Usually, a La Niña winter in Texas is warmer and drier than normal, and that is what is expected for January 2023 in Central Texas and most of the state.

January temperature outlook (CPC)
January temperature outlook (CPC)
January precipitation outlook (CPC)
January precipitation outlook (CPC)

What’s normal in January?

January is typically our coldest month, with average highs in the low 60s and average lows in the low 40s. That brings an average temperature in the low 50s when factoring in nights and days. Normally January is one of our drier months of the year, but not our driest. The coldest it’s ever been in January was on Jan. 31, 1949, when low temperatures in Austin dropped to -2º. We’ve had cold highs in the 20s in January as well, several of which make for record-breaking low maximum temperatures during the month.

  • Average high Jan. 1: 62º
  • Average high Jan. 31: 64º
  • Average low Jan. 1: 42º
  • Average low Jan. 31: 43º
  • Coldest month of the year
  • Average rainfall: 2.64″ (4th driest)

Drought to get worse?

We’ve had some improvements in drought recently thanks to several soaking rains in November. Some parts of Travis, Williamson, Milam, Lee, Bastrop, Lampasas and San Saba counties have pulled out of the drought, but are still considered unusually dry. Extreme or Exceptional Drought still continues for areas just southwest of Austin.

Latest Drought Monitor (NOAA)
Latest Drought Monitor (NOAA)

The seasonal drought forecast from the Climate Prediction Center expects drought to continue or worsen for much of the area except our eastern counties.

Drought seasonal outlook (CPC)
Drought seasonal outlook (CPC)

The First Warning Weather Team will continue to track any changes to the La Niña pattern including the potential for a flip to El Niño later next year.

Stay tuned…