Tuesday, December 17, 2013

This Cold December Bucks A Trend Of Toasty Decembers

No doubt it was frigid in northern New England this Tuesday morning. One of the "warm" spots was Burlington, Vermont, which clocked in with a temperature of 9 below, just one degree warmer than the record for the date.
Thick layer of ice on my truck windshield
this morning at a temperature of 11 below.  

Elsewhere, it was as bone chilling as it gets. It reached 32 below in Island Pond, Vermont and 30 below in Canaan, Vermont. There were lots of reports of readings in the 20s below in New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.

As of yesterday, half way through the month, the average temperature this December was averaging 3.4 degrees below normal. Unless there's a huge turnaround in temperatures, this will go down as one of the coldest Decembers in years.

Not that there's much competition. The past couple of decades has brought a series of abnormally warm Decembers to Vermont. Six of the top 10 warmest Decembers on record have occurred since 1996. This is in a record book that goes back to the 1880s.

I found only two cooler than normal Decembers in Burlington in the past 23 years. And the two cool Decembers were only a little below normal.

So not only is it cold this December, we're not used to such early season cold, either.

This week, it will warm up, sort of. Of course it really can't get much colder. Some small storms will blow by, with one this afternoon and evening bringing a dusting to far northern parts of Vermont and New Hampshire, with several inches in the southern reaches of those states.

Something else is coming along Friday, along with a quick squirt of warm air which will bring temperatures above freezing for a day or so. By that I mean upper 30s, so it won't exactly be tropical out there.

Then temperatures will drift downward again, but I don't think we'll see 20s and 30s below again for a couple weeks at least. Or we could hope, anyway.

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