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Sunday May 24th, 2015 7:21AM

Warm West offsets cold East, makes average January

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- For those who shivered through January, this may be hard to believe: Nationwide, the average temperature for the first month of the year was about normal because a warm West offset a cool East.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration said January in the Lower 48 states was the 53rd coldest of 120 years. The nation averaged only one-tenth of a degree below normal for January.

While Alabama had its fourth coldest January on record, California and Alaska had their third warmest.

Weather Underground's Jeff Masters said the nation is in a new normal, where the cold winters of 30 years ago now seem extreme.

Nationwide, it was the fifth driest January on record. New Mexico had its driest January, Arizona had its second driest and California, its third.
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