Taking a Look Back at Winter 2018 Climate Statistics (Credit:NOAA National Center for Environmental Information)
Discussion: As winter thaws into spring, NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Prediction has released their climate statistics for this past winter (December 2017- February 2018). Overall the average winter temperature was recorded to be 34.0 ° F which was 1.8 ° F above normal. The above normal temperature trend kept going in parts of the southwestern United States, and the East and West coasts. Parts of the Northern High Plains and the Central plains saw the opposite temperature trend and observed cooler than normal temperatures. The average maximum temperature across the United States during the winter was 44.9° F and the average minimum temperature was 23.1° F. Alaska experienced their fourth warmest winter on state record. The average winter temperature in Alaska was 12.9° F which was 9.3° F above the long-term average.
The average total of wintertime precipitation this year was 6.26 inches, which was below average by 0.53 inches. Across the western, central plains and southeastern regions of the United States, many states saw below average precipitation. As shown in the image above, the states of California, Nevada, Utah, and Kansas all saw below average precipitation, which led to a dry winter season, which ranked in the top ten of dry winter seasons for that state. The state of California, in particular, saw their second driest winter on record since 1977. California only received 33.7 inches of precipitation for the winter season.
The Northern Rockies, Lower Mississippi Valley, Midwest, and the Northeast all experienced above average seasons of precipitation. In the Northeast, a series of Nor’easters helped boost precipitation values. Arkansas experienced their fourth wettest winter season since 1949. After such a dry autumn, the state received 160% above average precipitation throughout the three month time period!
To check out more climate statistics from this winter be sure to click on the following link
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©2018 Meteorologist Shannon Scully