Saturday, March 6, 2010

"What Will Fall and Winter Bring" revisited

Back in August, I posted a comment based on a little research I did into the effects (if any) of an extremely cool summer (find the post HERE). July 2009 gave us some very below-average temps, and although there were no complaints to be heard, I was curious how the fall and winter would play out. Now that the books are filled in, I'd like to revisit that post and see how our data compared with the previous 9 coldest July's.


 Fall temperatures didn't impress me either way.  If we deviated, it wasn't by too much.  The maximum deviation were by 3.1° or 3.2° during these years.  This year's fall was no different, only slightly cooler than normal.

Winter temperatures offer the same in the way of deviations.  The average of all ten of these years came out to 31.9°, where the normal was 32.0°.  This winter's deviation was -3.7°.  Below average has been very common for the past 6 months.  I wonder if El Nino has something to do with that.

Precipitation is the hot topic for fall and winter.  For fall precip, this year and 1905 were quite the outliers with a surplus of +10.05" and +9.61", respectively.  Abundant gulf moisture in October was the ticket this year, with 12.49" falling in just one month!

Winter precipitation is a much more telling story.  Look at all the black in that column.  Surplus precipitation seems very likely, with only one year shorting us a mere -0.19".  We followed suit this year with a surplus of +3.08".

Snowfall amounts during these ten sample years are below average.  The mean snowfall amounts for these years is 2.4" below average.  This year, even with an abundance of days with measurable snow, we still fell short (barring any late-season snowstorms of course).  We ended up behind by 1.8" with a total of 18.6".

So how does our friend El Nino play into this?  Not sure...but this is the only year (2009) on the data table above that occurs during an official El Nino event.  Two years on the table (1950, and 1971) occur one year before a major El Nino event. 


OSNW3 said...

Wxwatcher, sweet synopsis! I think an El Nino like pattern must've caused the small deviations in temperature from Summer through Winter, even if it wasn't a true El Nino season. Some sort of persistent pattern that kept things withing a small deadband... ???

Is El Nino expected to be around next season?

Also, I can't remember, where does you Oct '09 precip rank for all time?

WxWatcher said...

From what little reading I've done, I think El Nino will make his exit this spring.

October 2009 was #2 all-time wettest Octobers.

#1: 13.44" (1941)
#2: 12.49" (2009)
#3: 8.99" (1969)

The all-time wettest month for the Columbia area was June 1928: 14.86"

Ami Jo said...

So what does all of this mean for spring? We are expected to get quite a bit of rain this week. Is that going to be the norm? Do you think we will ever dry out?????? I'll probably stick my foot in my mouth for that comment come August! LOL

Ami Jo said...

BTW, did you update my email address? I got the notification of your updated blog in my yahoo box.

WxWatcher said...

Ami Jo, the Climate Prediction Center is showing equal chances of normal precip and temperatures for the period of March - May, so take that for what it's worth. Personally, I think the onslaught of wet months may run out quickly this year. (No data to confirm that, just a gut feeling...and the law of averages.)

I'm hoping we don't get that much rain this week. I need to get the garden tilled soon!

Forgot to change your e-mail, sorry! :o)