Thursday, March 01, 2012

Persistent and Consistent Warmth

Last winter was our warmest winter since 2001-2002 and ended up 4th warmest all time.  In fact, the number of days that we exceeded 50 degrees was the most we've seen in a winter around here since the "Gold Standard" torch winter of 1931-32 where we exceed the 50 degree mark 45 times.  Yeah, we missed that mark by one day.

I broke down the last six winters by the number of times we broke 50, 60, and 70 degrees, as well as included the average daily temperature for December through January.  Our last truly "warm" winters were 2007-2008, both of which were a degree and a half or more above the old 1971-2000 norms of temperature.  Those winters had 1/4 and 1/2 the number of days of 50 and warmer that this past meteorological winter had.   2006-07, which featured a really, really warm first half of winter, featured 33 days of 50 and above, which is quite high.

Our number of 60 degree days (12) is the highest since 2001-02 (16).  Believe it or not, we didn't hit 70 this winter although we did come close in Philadelphia on February 1st (67 degree high).  Our last 70 degree days were back in December 2006 and January 2007, both of which were record highs for their respective dates in Philly.   The winter of 2001-2002 featured five days of 70 and above.

For cold and snow lovers, it has been worse in past years although this year certainly ranked rather high on the list of "bad" winters for those who like winter with snow on the ground and chill in the air.  For those tired of cold and snow after two winters of constant pummeling, this winter was definitely a welcome break.