How Cold/Snowy Was January Really?

There has been a lot of talk about this winter and how bad it has been, especially in January, where the term “polar vortex” became a household name. Of course, polar vortexes are a fairly common winter term in the meteorological community and they happen every single year somewhere. The only real difference this year has been that it came further south in some areas than normal. Combined with frequent snowfalls, it has given the perception that the winter overall has been unusually severe. But how does the winter so far, and January 2014, stack up historically?

First, let’s look at temperatures since December 1st, the start of meteorological winter.

For December 1st to January 31st, the average temperature has been 28.75 degrees. Normal for this period is 31.55 degrees, so it has been below normal by 2.8 degrees. But is that departure from normal really historically bad? Not really. In fact, it doesn’t even rank in the top 20 coldest. However, the average temperature alone doesn’t really tell the whole story. January, in particular, was very cold overall, with an average of just 22.8 degrees. That DID rank the month in the top 20, at #15 out of more than 135 years of records. It also featured 7 days with low temperatures at or below 0 degrees. Only a handful of other years featured more than that, even though the coldest low of the month (-11) did not come close to the coldest readings on record. So it has been more about repeated bouts of cold rather than record cold.

Next, we’ll look at seasonal snowfall through January 31st. This is where the 2013-2014 winter really begins to take its place in history. After having the snowiest 1st 10 days of December on record, the winter has continued to add to its totals. Through January 31st, Columbus had received 35.1″ of snow, which was already 6.2″ above what would fall for an ENTIRE SEASON, let alone through that date. In fact, the season was more than 20″ above normal by then. The 35.1″ is also the 6th highest total by the 31st of any winter on record, and the 17.7″ that fell during January made it the 16th snowiest, and this was after the 8th snowiest December on record, with 12.7″. Even if not a flake of snow more fell the rest of the winter, it would still end up as the 30th snowiest.

February is looking to keep with the same winter pattern, at least for the next week or two. A winter storm warning is currently in effect for 8-10″ of snow for the Columbus area and continued below normal temperatures. Could the 2013-2014 winter season end up in the record books? Yes, and already has. With the current storm bearing down and potentially more on the horizon, the season will keep moving up.

Columbus Area Housing Market- December

December ended a 2-month decline in home sales for the area, with overall sales up 2.5%.

Here are the stats for the 21 major areas of Franklin County that I look at housing stats for.

Top 10 December 2013 Sales Totals
1. Columbus: 657
2. Westerville: 47
3. Dublin: 45
4. Clintonville: 42
5. Upper Arlington: 41
6. Grove City: 39
7. Reynoldsburg: 38
8. Gahanna: 31
9. Hilliard: 22
10. Pickerington: 18

Top 10 December 2013 Sales Increases over December 2012
1. Minerva Park: +200.0%
2. Obetz: +200.0%
3. Reynoldsburg: +72.7%
4. Clintonville: +55.6%
5. Gahanna: +55.0%
6. Pataskala: +27.3%
7. Dublin: +15.4%
8. German Village: +10.0%
9. Worthington: +6.3%
10. Columbus: +3.8%

Top 10 Year-to-Date Sales Through December 2013
1. Columbus: 10,267
2. Dublin: 797
3. Upper Arlington: 719
4. Clintonville: 701
5. Westerville: 630
6. Grove City: 609
7. Hilliard: 556
8. Gahanna: 526
9. Reynoldsburg: 505
10. Pickerington: 312

Top 10 Year-to-Date Increases Through December 2013 Over 2012
1. Minerva Park: +51.9%
2. Gahanna: +31.8%
3. Pataskala: +31.0%
4. Reynoldsburg: +30.8%
5. Whitehall: +27.3%
6. Clintonville: +26.3%
7. Hilliard: +23.6%
8. Whitehall: +23.4%
9. Westerville: +21.9%
10. Bexley: +21.5%

Average Sales December 2013
Urban: 74.5
Suburban: 28.2
Urban without Columbus: 14.7

Average % Change December 2013 vs. December 2012
Urban: +40.5%
Suburban: +6.4%
Urban without Columbus: +44.2%

Average YTD Sales Through December 2013
Urban: 1,177.1
Suburban: 466.5
Urban without Columbus: 268.1

Average YTD % Change YTD Through December 2013
Urban: +15.7%
Suburban: +19.4%
Urban without Columbus: +15.3%

Top 10 Average Sales Price December 2013
1. New Albany: $563,187
2. Upper Arlington: $377,943
3. Bexley: $376,592
4. Dublin: $351,279
5. Downtown: $314,583
6. German Village: $303,136
7. German Village: $271,656
8. Hilliard: $249,811
9. Worthington: $232,741
10. Clintonville: $223,250

Top 10 Average Sales Price % Change December 2013 Over December 2012
1. Whitehall: +37.3%
2. New Albany: +32.8%
3. Pataskala: +29.6%
4. Reynoldsburg: +26.3%
5. Upper Arlington: +25.8%
6. Clintonville: +25.3%
7. Bexley: +23.7%
8. Hilliard: +21.9%
9. Gahanna: +19.6%
10. Dublin: +13.1%

Top 10 Average Sales Prices YTD Through December 2013
1. New Albany: $542,634
2. Upper Arlington: $365,143
3. Bexley: $352,214
4. Dublin: $336,048
5. German Village: $298,199
6. Downtown: $287,976
7. Worthington: $248,857
8. Grandview Heights: $223,185
9. Hilliard: $217,078
10. Gahanna: $199,546

Top 10 Average YTD Sales Price % Change Through December 2013 vs. 2012
1. Whitehall: +18.9%
2. Downtown: +14.0%
3. Minerva Park: +14.0%
4. Upper Arlington: +13.8%
5. Gahanna: +12.1%
6. New Albany: +9.8%
7. Reynoldsburg: +9.6%
8. Obetz: +9.0%
9. Worthington: +7.5%
10. Bexley: +5.8%

Average Sales Price December 2013
Urban: $218,764
Suburban: $233,048
Urban without Columbus: $227,832

Average Sales Price Change December 2012 vs. December 2012
Urban: -1.6%
Suburban: +15.5%
Urban without Columbus: -2.9%

Average Sales Price YTD
Urban: $217,056
Suburban: $224,060
Urban without Columbus: $226,017

Average Sales Price % Change YTD
Urban: +5.6%
Suburban: +5.6%
Urban without Columbus: +5.7%

Top 10 Fastest Selling Markets December 2013 (Based on Average # of Days for Listings to Sell)
1. Bexley: 26
2. Obetz: 42
3. New Albany: 47
4. Hilliard: 50
5. Clintonville: 51
6. Pataskala: 57
7. Gahanna: 58
8. Upper Arlington: 58
9. Reynoldsburg: 61
10. Grove City: 63

Top 10 Fastest Selling Markets YTD
1. Worthington: 42
2. Upper Arlington: 46
3. Grandview Height: 49
4. Clintonville: 50
5. Westerville: 53
6. Hilliard: 54
7. Bexley: 57
8. Gahanna: 59
9. Dublin: 63
10. Grove City: 64

Average # of Days Before Sale, December 2013
Urban: 73.4
Suburban: 63.9
Urban without Columbus: 73.8

Average # of Days Before Sale YTD
Urban: 61.3
Suburban: 62.9
Urban without Columbus: 60.9

Top 10 Lowest Market Housing Supplies (Based on # of Months to Sell all Listings)
1. Worthington: 1.2
2. Bexley: 1.8
3. Clintonville: 1.9
4. Hilliard: 1.9
5. Upper Arlington: 1.9
6. Grandview Heights: 2.1
7. Westerville: 2.1
8. Gahanna: 2.2
9. Minerva Park: 2.2
10. German Village: 2.3

A healthy housing supply is considered to be around 5 months. Anything less than 3 months is considered very low. All of the 21 areas I looked at were below 5 months, indicating a county-wide shortage. This shortage has only deepened over the last year, with December having the lowest number of available homes in nearly 15 years.

Average # of Months to Sell All Listings, December 2013
Urban: 2.7
Suburban: 3.2
Urban without Columbus: 2.6

Average % Change of Single-Family Home Sales December 2013 vs. December 2012
Urban: +28.5%
Suburban: +14.3%
Urban without Columbus: +30.8%

Average % Change of Single-Family Home Sales YTD vs. YTD 2012
Urban: +9.8%
Suburban: +19.0%
Urban without Columbus: +8.8%


Average % Change of Condo Sales December 2013 vs. December 2012

Urban: +20.5%
Suburban: -4.2%
Urban without Columbus: +20.5%

Average % Change of Condo Sales YTD vs. YTD 2012
Urban: +29.0%
Suburban: +23.5%
Urban without Columbus: +29.9%

Updates

So today I made several updates. I posted Christmas Day weather climatology and also added a new December Weather page. I updated the November Weather page with 2013 information and also updated the Columbus Development page with all recent proposals and updated project counts.

Enjoy!

Columbus’ Christmas Day Climatology

A few days late, but here it is.

*Find more December records in the new December Weather page.

Normals 1981-2010
High: 38
Low: 25
Mean: 31.5
Precipitation: 0.10″
Snowfall: 0.2″

Top 10 Coldest Highs
1. 1983: 1
2. 1878: 10
3. 1924: 11
4. 1980: 15
5. 1902: 16
6. 1985: 17
7. 1884, 2000: 19
8. 1899, 1906, 1914:20
9. 1950, 1968: 22
10. 1935, 1969, 2001: 23

Top 10 Coldest Lows
1. 1983: -12
2. 1980: -5
3. 1935: -4
4. 1924: -3
5. 1878: -2
6. 2004: -1
7. 1985: 1
8. 2000: 2
9. 1884: 4
10. 1914, 1999: 7

Top 10 Warmest Highs
1. 1893: 64
2. 1982: 63
3. 1932, 1940: 62
4. 1889: 60
5. 1964: 58
6. 1895, 1955: 57
7. 1891: 55
8. 1936: 53
9. 1888, 1915, 1987: 52
10. 1965, 1973: 51

Top 10 Warmest Lows
1. 1889, 1982: 55
2. 1895: 52
3. 1893: 49
4. 1891: 45
5. 1932, 1940: 40
6. 1888, 1964, 1973: 39
7. 1987: 38
8. 1922, 1941, 2009: 37
9. 1936, 1972: 36
10. 1901, 1997, 2006: 35

Top 10 Wettest
1. 2009: 0.79″
2. 1944: 0.77″
3. 1926: 0.69″
4. 1951: 0.58″
5. 2006: 0.57″
6. 1945: 0.54″
7. 1957: 0.52″
8. 1987, 2005: 0.51″
9. 1915: 0.48″
10. 1909: 0.47″

Top 10 Snowiest
1. 1890: 7.0″
2. 1909: 5.7″
3. 1950: 3.0″
4. 1917: 2.5″
5. 1969: 2.3″
6. 1884: 2.2″
7. 1976: 1.9″
8. 1880: 1.8″
9. 1935: 1.3″
10. 1944: 1.2″

Most Snow on the Ground (Since 1947)
1. 1960: 9″
2. 1961, 1963, 1989, 1995: 4″
3. 1969, 1980, 2004: 3″

December 2012 Weather Recap

December was probably one of the strangest months ever for weather. The first three weeks were extremely warm, being almost 10 degrees above normal. The last 10 days cooled off, but not enough to make up for the warmth. The mean was 39.4 degrees, or 5.9 degrees above normal, and December ended up being the 10th warmest on record.

Although the month was very wet from the beginning (3rd wettest), there was also only a trace of snowfall through the 20th, and it looked like the month might end with below normal snowfall. Then 4 separate snow events dropped 14.9″ the last 10 days, making the month the 4th snowiest December of all time. Not only that, but two of the snowfalls (5.9″ and 4.9″) were two of the top 20 snowfalls for a December.

December 2012 will definitely go down as one of those months that defied expectations.