Sunday, December 25, 2011

Weather Rewind, December 18-24, 2011

Temperatures for the week before Christmas started chilled, ended "typical" for late December, but in between were rather warm for this time of the year.  On the whole, the week averaged out to 7.1 degrees above average as the strength of three mild days in the middle of the week, all with temperature departures of ten degrees or more from normal, helped push the weekly average to a toasty 7.1 above.

We "dodged" two record highs on Wednesday (63, occurring late in the evening) and Thursday (61, occurring in the afternoon on a really nice first day of winter), both of which were three degrees short of records for their respective date.  The low of 47 on Thursday was also just three off of the warmest low for that date.   The warmth this month...and likely again in the middle of this coming week...will pretty much ensure a top five warmest December (raise your hand if you saw that coming...very few did!).

In terms of rain, 1.49" dropped in the bucket in Philadelphia last week, much of it timed in Thursday night/Friday morning's coastal low that soaked through the region while many of us slept.  We have a shot at 65" for the year with the coming week's storm.   Allentown and Harrisburg have both out-soaked us -- picking up 70 and over 72 inches respectively year-to-date.

Putting things in snowier state of mind, 30% of the country's land area got a White Christmas -- lower than what we've seen the last few winters.   It's the lowest percentage of snow on the ground at Christmas since 2006 (28%).  The winners this year were Northern New England, around Lake Superior, the Southern High Plains from Kansas through Colorado, down into West Texas, and the Rockies.