Monday, January 02, 2012

2011 in Statistical Form

2011 is finally, mercifully, in the books. The wettest year on record, the 4th warmest year on record, and so much more. The statistics for this year are lengthy, with many records broken in many locations throughout the Delaware Valley. Summing up the year in weather in cliff's notes, short attention fashion would be to simply say wet, wacky, wild, warm. Those four probably sum it up the best.

Click on graphic to see in full size (800 px)
Wet -- This was the wettest year on record in Philadelphia (64.33"), breaking both old records from 1867 (before the National Weather Service records started in 1872) and 1996 (the "official" record).   Other wet records were set in Allentown (71.72") and Harrisburg (73.73").  Those wet records were approached in Mount Pocono (2nd wettest), Trenton (4th wettest), Reading (4th wettest), and Wilmington (5th wettest).

Wacky & Wild -- May the top ten weather stories (in our eyes) of 2011 suffice.  These probably sum it up best for the region over the past year.   There are plenty of wild and wacky weather stories nationally -- the severe outbreaks, flooding rains, heat, and even some cold.   In terms of temperature spread, Philadelphia's spread of 95 degrees from its highest high (103 on July 22nd) and its lowest low (8 on January 24th) is the highest spread we've had in temperature over the course of the year since 1995 (98 degree spread between a low of 5 and a high of 103).   The all time single year temperature spread is 113 degrees (102 high, -11 low) set in 1934, a record that arguably is one of the toughest to break given that -11 is the gold standard of record low temperatures in this city.

Warm -- This was the 4th warmest year since 1872 in Philadelphia, with an average temperature of 57.68 degrees, coming in about a half of a degree below 1931 (the warmest on record).   Ten of the twelve months in 2011 were above average, including the hottest July on record this year.   Around the region, it was the warmest year on record in Atlantic City (average temp of 57.1 bested the old mark from 1953 by about a half degree) and in Trenton (56.6 bested the old mark of 56.2 set just last year) second warmest on record in Mount Pocono, and ninth warmest in Reading.

You can view all of the climate data for Philadelphia from 2011 and before at our climate page.