Jan 182009
 
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As is everyone else, I wonder why December’s snow is still around in mid-January. Has is been colder than usual? I pulled some data from the National Weather Service for the winter months since 2004. Here is what I found for mean temperatures:

2004-2009 Mean Winter Temperatures

2004-2009 Mean Winter Temperatures

Excepting December 2008, there appears to have been an overall downward trend for December, January and February. March seems independent. So one would think a few degrees lower each day, plus a considerable snowfall might lead to the snow sticking around for a while. But overall, last month, December 2008, was on par with previous years??? December starts the month with a “normal” daily mean temperature of 32F and finishes with a “normal” daily mean temperature of 29F. Early December was quite pleasant as shown below:

December 2008 Temperatures

December 2008 Temperatures

Take note of the trend for the month. While the average “normal” drops from 32F to 29F, the trend for the month went from balmy to fridgid. The first 10-days of December had a well -above-average daily average temperature of 36.67F. The last 10 days of December had a well -below-average daily average temperature of 25.4F. That could explain the snow sticking around through the holidays.

But January remains as an issue. Overall for the month, we are above “normal” temperatures, by 2 degrees, and much warmer than the last two winters.

Here is my theory, the massive 4 inches of water that fell mostly as snow in December was allowed to stick around due to the cold temperatures that accompanied it. It must have formed a self-insulating mass that lingers to this day. The current heat and sunlight just can get deep enough to melt it.

Oh yeah, still looks like the next couple weeks could be like late December…have you checked your roof?

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