Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Vermont Winter Was By Far The Hottest On Record

Incredibly, a flower blooms - outdoors - on Christmas Day
in West Rutland, Vermont, during what turned out
to be Vermont's warmest winter on record 
At least if you use Burlington as a representative station, Vermont easily just had its warmest winter on record.

Meteorological winter, measured by climatologists, runs from December 1 through February 28, except in leap years like this one, when it ends on February 29.

The mean temperature in Burlington over the three winter months was 30.1 degrees, a whopping 8.1 degrees warmer than average.

We exceeded the old record for warmest winter by 1.4 degrees set in 2001-02, which is a wide margin when you're talking about record high temperatures spread over three months.

Burlington's three warmest winters have all occured in the 21st century. The third warmest winter was in 2011-12.

The Queen City had seven daily record high temperatures during the winter, including the all time record warmest December day, at 68 degrees on Christmas Eve.

Eighteen days during the course of the winter, since December 1 got up to 50 degrees or warmer. I'm not sure if that's a record or not, but if it isn't, it's got to be close.

Only four days in Burlington got down to zero or below. That's not a record, since the previous hottest winter in 2001-02 had no days below zero.

The stretch between December 1 and February 29  turned out to be also the fourth wettest winter on record, with 8.77 inches of rain and melted snow and ice.

It was dry in January, but December and February were in the top 10 wettest.

As we all know, the precipitation this winter was mostly rain. Burlington had only 28.8 inches of snow over those three months.  That wasn't in the top ten record lowest, but close.

Of course, Vermont wasn't the only place on Earth with such hot temperatures. December and January for the globe as a whole, were the hottest on record.

We're stil waiting for February global temperature measurements, but it will no doubt be hot. I know that places as far apart as Bismarck, North Dakota, Los Angeles, California, Serbia, Russia, Austria, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Romania, among other places, had their warmest February readings on record.

Closer to home, Albany, New York had its warmest winter on record. Boston had its second warmest. And I'm sure quite a few other cities in the Northeast had their warmest winter on record, too, or close to it.

Of course, we don't know what spring will bring. We'll just have to wait and see on that one.

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