Monday, February 18, 2013

Updating Where We're At This Winter Part 2

Continuing with an addendum from Saturday's "Month of Winter" post about how temperatures since January 15th have roughly averaged out to "normal" for winter in Philadelphia, I wanted to update where we are at in terms of overall winter temperatures and the number of warm and cold days.

Our winter temperature through yesterday (December 1st through February 17th) is 38.5 degrees, running about two degrees colder than last winter but still a solid four degrees above the average winter in Philadelphia.   Despite the normal trend in temperatures the last few weeks, the excessive warmth of the first half of winter has propelled us to a rather warm winter statistically.

In terms of numbers of days where we've topped out at or above 50, we're at 28 through today.  Last winter had 44 overall.  At least we won't beat that statistic and it's pretty likely between now and month's end we won't top 70 so we should continue our streak of not having a 70 degree day in winter.

Our coldest high this winter was 22, which was the coldest day since January 2010.  We've had nine such days of highs at or below freezing, which pales in comparison to the 19 days we had in the winter of 2010-11 but it is five days more than last winter.  This winter has also featured a couple of days with highs of 25 or colder as well, something last winter didn't produce.

In terms of cold or really cold days going forward, the odds of any more subfreezing highs from here on out diminish rather quickly over the coming weeks historically.  You can still get subfreezing highs into late March as the latest subfreezing high was on March 24th, 1940 (30 degrees).  As recently as March 2007, we had record cold highs into early March on one occasion.  It's doable but significant cold such as what we dealt with last January becomes much less likely in the coming weeks as day length and sun angle increase over the region.