2011-2012: 4th Warmest Winter On Record

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By Steve MacLaughlin on December 4, 2012, 10:45pm Last modified: December 6, 2012, 2:04pm

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As you may have read earlier this week, "Meteorological Winter" began on December 1st and runs until the end of January even though the calendar says we are still in autumn for a few more weeks. Here is that article: http://www.wxedge.com/articles/20131203meteorological_winter_starts_on_december_1

One year ago we were beginning what ended up being a remarkable year - not just here in Connecticut, but across much of the nation. And that came after the two previous winters that were breaking snow records almost weekly.

The winter of 2011/2012 was the fourth warmest on record, running almost 4 degrees warmer than average. Here are highlights and details from NOAA as the winter was wrapping up:

Warmer-than-average temperatures dominated the northern and eastern regions of the country in December, January and February, leading to the fourth warmest winter on record for the contiguous United States.

The winter season was also drier-than-average for the Lower forty-eight, with dry conditions experienced across the West and the Southeast but wetter-than-average conditions in the Central and Southern Plains and parts of the Ohio Valley.

The average contiguous U.S. temperature during the December-February period was 36.8 degrees, 3.9 degrees above the 1901-2000 long-term average — the warmest since 2000.

The precipitation averaged across the nation was 5.70" which was 0.78" below the long-term average.

The nation experienced the third smallest snowcover on record according to data from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab...Snow cover extent during winter was approximately 237,000 square miles below the 1981-2010 average — the third smallest winter snow cover footprint in the 46-year satellite record. Snowpack was particularly limited across parts of the West, where parts of California, Nevada, and Arizona had snowpack less than half of average.

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Steve MacLaughlin

Town: New Haven, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

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