By Mike Fletcher Kokomo Tribune
---- — Wind, snow, ice and arctic cold temperatures this month have made January 2014 one of the worst Januaries on record for Kokomo.
Meteorologist Crystal Pettet of the National Weather Service in Indianapolis said this month ranks as the 10th coldest in Kokomo’s history and the 7th highest in snowfall totals.
Even though the region has had about six days with the mercury dipping below zero, the average temperature for the month is 16.8 degrees, more than 10 degrees warmer than the coldest January on record, which was 1977 with a 6.1-degree average temperature, Pettet said.
As for the snowfall, Kokomo has received 26.7 inches this month as of Friday with more snow expected today.
With up to 4 to 6 inches of snow predicted today and Sunday, the city could go over the 30-inch mark, but that’s still short of the record 44 inches set in 1918, Pettet said.
The second highest snowfall came in 1982, when Kokomo had 43 inches. The blizzard of 1978, which is considered the worst blizzard in Kokomo history, measured 40.8 inches — the third highest snowfall on record, according to the NWS.
Along with making driving treacherous, the 26.7 inches of snow kept students out of area schools for several days.
When it comes to removing the white stuff, the city has spent $55,500 more in overtime that it did in the first four weeks of last year, Mayor Greg Goodnight said.
With more snow on the way, Goodnight said the city still has plenty of salt and will be ready to clean the streets yet again.
“Overall, we usually come in under budget,” he said of the funds allotted for snow removal. “That money mainly comes out of the street department budget. It has had an impact when you that spend that much. I think we’re in good shape and I do think the city crews have done a great job in clearing the snow.”
Paul Wyman of the Howard County Commissioners said the county also has spent more on overtime for snow removal, but it’s nothing the county can’t handle.
“There’s no doubt the overtime costs will certainly impede our budget,” said Wyman. “But we have a surplus, so we’ll be able to cover it with no problem.”
Mike Fletcher, crime and courts reporter, can be reached at 765-454-8565 or by email at email@example.com.
School days missed in January due to weather: • Kokomo - 6 • Northwestern - 6 • Eastern - 5 • Western - 6 • Taylor - 9