December 5-6, 2007- Clipper and Cold

Forecasts on December 4th, 2007 called for a weak, fast-moving clipper to affect much of the Midwest, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and east to the Mid-Atlantic coast. Most forecasts in Ohio had the area south of I-80 down to just north of the Ohio River getting 1-3″ of snowfall, with a potential max of 2-4″ in south-central Ohio from Dayton to Chillicothe.

Snowfall began in western Ohio at about 10pm and reached central Ohio by midnight on the 4th. It began as flurries and light snow showers but gradually increased in intensity overnight and into the morning of the 5th, becoming heavy at times. By the time that the snowfall ended around 2:30pm in the afternoon, 4-6″ covered most of central Ohio, with the heaviest accumulations right near the I-70 corridor. Another max of snow occurred along a Mansfield to Canton line where a general 4-6″ also occurred.

The night of the 5th-6th brought a cold night for most of Ohio as clear skies after the storm and snow-covered ground sent temperatures far below normal. Most areas saw temperatures in the single digits, and many even fell into the single digits below zero. For Columbus, the low of 9 was the second lowest temperature ever recorded for the 6th of December.

December 14-15, 1901- Columbus Mega Front

Temperatures through November and early December 1901 had been persistently below normal. 24 days in November had been below normal, and but for a few days very early in December, this pattern continued. However, beginning on December 11th, temperatures began to rise ahead of an approaching weather system. By the 13th, temperatures reached record highs in Columbus when they spiked at 65 degrees. The following day started equally warm with a record high of 65. However, a change was coming. A powerful cold front would move through late on the 14th, and temperatures began to plummet. By midnight, the temperature had dropped all the way down to just 14 degrees, a single day drop of 51 degrees! 1.50″ of precipitation accompanied the frontal passage, with over 4″ wind-driven snow.

On the 15th, the temperature continued to fall, albeit more slowly, and by midnight the reading was -4. This mega-cold front had produced a 69 degree total drop in Columbus, which made it one of the strongest cold fronts ever to move through the Ohio region.

The front would bring a major pattern change. Every day from the 15th-21st featured highs in the teens, which set many daily low maximum records, some of which still stand more than 100 years later.

The winter of 1901-02 was generally cold and snowy in the Ohio Valley, but no future front that winter would come close to December 14-15th of 1901.

December Precipitation Records 1878-2012

Top 20 Wettest Decembers
1. 1990: 6.98″
2. 1923: 6.12″
3. 2012: 5.70″
4. 2011: 5.44″
5. 1881: 5.28″
6. 1951: 5.07″
7. 1978: 5.01″
8. 2008: 4.84″
9. 1957: 4.68″
10. 1971: 4.61″
11. 1911: 4.53″
12. 2007: 4.34″
13. 1879: 4.29″
14. 1915: 4.15″
15. 1895: 4.14″
16. 1883: 4.12″
17. 1964: 4.09″
18. 1880: 3.98″
19. 1878: 3.88″
20. 1982: 3.84″

Average December Precipitation By Decade
2010*: 4.13″
2000s: 3.31″
1990s: 2.98″
1980s: 2.62″
1970s: 3.03″
1960s: 2.36″
1950s: 2.64″
1940s: 2.44″
1930s: 2.30″
1920s: 2.97″
1910s: 2.78″
1900s: 2.45″
1890s: 2.33″
1880s: 2.90″
1870s**: 4.09″
*2010 to 2012
**1878 to 1879

Top 20 Driest Decembers
1. 1955: 0.46″
2. 1958: 0.69″
3. 1925: 0.73″
4. 1930: 0.80″
5. 1963: 0.85″
6. 1943: 0.91″
7. 1900: 0.92″
8. 1976: 0.93″
9. 1938: 1.04″
10. 1898: 1.09″
11. 1888: 1.11″
12. 1913: 1.13″
13. 1939: 1.20″
14. 1965: 1.24″
15. 2010: 1.26″
16. 1917: 1.31″
17. 1992: 1.32″
18. 1985: 1.41″
19. 1947: 1.44″
20. 1896: 1.52″

Top 20 Greatest December Daily Precipitation
1. 1998: 2.56″
2. 2000: 2.26″
3. 2011: 1.95″
4. 1921: 1.88″
5. 1978, 2008: 1.74″
6. 2001: 1.71″
7. 1990: 1.59″
8. 1901: 1.50″
9. 1932: 1.42″
10. 1883: 1.39″
11. 1895, 1991: 1.37″
12. 1881: 1.30″
13. 1982: 1.27″
14. 1880, 1923, 1927, 1964: 1.26″
15. 1966, 1971: 1.22″
16. 1911, 1937: 1.21″
17. 1929: 1.18″
18. 1933: 1.17″
19. 1950: 1.15″
20. 1915: 1.13″

Average Greatest December Daily Precipitation By Decade
2010s*: 1.19″
2000s: 1.14″
1990s: 1.07″
1980s: 0.72″
1970s: 0.84″
1960s: 0.70″
1950s: 0.73″
1940s: 0.73″
1930s: 0.78″
1920s: 0.93″
1910s: 0.84″
1900s: 0.74″
1890s: 0.66″
1880s: 0.92″
1870s**: 0.95″
*2010 to 2012
**1878 to 1879

Top 20 Snowiest Decembers
1. 1960: 17.3″
2. 1880: 17.2″
3. 1890: 15.1″
4. 2012: 14.9″
5. 1916: 14.7″
6. 1917: 14.5″
7. 1951: 13.6″
8. 2000: 13.4″
9. 1929: 12.7″
10. 1902: 12.2″
11. 1995: 11.8″
12. 1909: 11.0″
13. 1883: 10.6″
14. 1950: 10.5″
15. 1886: 10.3″
16. 1935: 10.2″
17. 1981: 9.8″
18. 1969: 9.7″
19. 2004: 9.6″
20. 1962: 9.5″

Average December Snowfall By Decade
2010s*: 7.6″
2000s: 6.1″
1990s: 3.5″
1980s: 6.1″
1970s: 3.6″
1960s: 7.5″
1950s: 6.4″
1940s: 3.7″
1930s: 4.0″
1920s: 3.0″
1910s: 6.0″
1900s: 5.0″
1890s: 4.8″
1880s: 5.5″
1870s**: 3.3″
*2010 to 2012
**1878 to 1879

Top 20 Largest December Daily Snowfalls
1. 1957: 7.9″
2. 1890: 7.4″
3. 1960: 6.5″
4. 1916: 6.0″
5. 2012: 5.9″
6. 1917, 1951: 5.8″
7. 1909, 1984: 5.7″
8. 1902, 1947: 5.4″
9. 2004: 5.2″
10. 1933: 5.0″
11. 1883, 2012: 4.9″
12. 1968: 4.7″
13. 1929, 1958: 4.5
14. 1981, 1995: 4.3″
15. 1989: 4.2″
16. 1977, 2007: 4.0″
17. 1961: 3.7″
18. 1880, 1897, 1932, 1945, 1999: 3.6″
19. 1935, 1966: 3.5″
20. 1906: 3.4″

Average Greatest December Daily Snowfall By Decade
2010s*: 3.1″
2000s: 2.3″
1990s: 1.7″
1980s: 2.6″
1970s: 2.6″
1960s: 2.9″
1950s: 3.2″
1940s: 1.9″
1930s: 2.1″
1920s: 1.7″
1910s: 2.5″
1900s: 2.4″
1890s: 2.5″
1880s: 1.8″
1870s**: 1.8″
*2010 to 2012
**1878 to 1879

Top 20 Greatest December Snowstorms of All-Time
1. 1890: 10.3″
2. 1960: 8.8″
3. 1957: 8.1″
4. 1984: 7.3″
5. 1917, 2004: 6.6″
6. 1916: 6.0″
7. 2012: 5.9″
8. 1951: 5.8″
9. 1909, 1961: 5.7″
10. 1902: 5.5″
11. 1947: 5.4″
12. 1883: 5.3″
13. 1933: 5.0″
14. 2012: 4.9″
15. 1974: 4.8″
16. 1968: 4.7″
17. 1929, 1958: 4.5″
18. 1932, 1950, 1981, 1989, 1995: 4.3″
19. 1935, 2010: 4.1″
20. 1906, 1966, 1977, 1999: 4.0″

December Temperature Records 1878-2012

December Cold

Top 20 Coldest December Means
1. 1989: 19.8
2. 1917: 21.3
3. 1963: 21.6
4. 1958, 1980, 2000: 23.4
5. 1903: 24.6
6. 1880: 24.7
7. 1950, 1976: 24.8
8. 1960: 25.1
9. 1909: 25.9
10. 1919, 1985: 26.0
11. 1878: 26.2
12. 1935: 26.3
13. 1910, 1945, 2010: 26.5
14. 1969: 26.8
15. 1886: 27.1
16. 1914: 27.6
17. 1944: 27.8
18. 1901: 28.7
19. 1995: 28.8
20. 1904: 29.0

Average December Mean By Decade
2010s*: 34.9
2000s: 33.1
1990s: 35.3
1980s: 30.5
1970s: 33.4
1960s: 29.7
1950s: 32.6
1940s: 33.2
1930s: 33.8
1920s: 33.5
1910s: 31.1
1900s: 30.7
1890s: 33.4
1880s: 33.6
1870s**: 31.7
*2010 to 2012
**1878 to 1879

Top 10 Coldest Daily December Highs
1. 1880, 1983: 1
2. 1917, 1989: 4
3. 1925, 1951: 7
4. 1980, 2000: 8
5. 1963, 1977: 9
6. 1878, 1901, 1914: 10
7. 1924, 1932, 1960, 1962: 11
8. 1933, 1945: 12
9. 1884, 1886, 1894, 1976: 13
10. 1882, 1909, 1958, 1981, 2004: 14

Average Coldest December High By Decade
2010s*: 26.7
2000s: 21.4
1990s: 23.7
1980s: 17.4
1970s: 21.7
1960s: 20.4
1950s: 21.4
1940s: 22.8
1930s: 21.6
1920s: 19.8
1910s: 19.7
1900s: 20.2
1890s: 20.8
1880s: 18.2
1870s**: 13.0
*2010 to 2012
**1878 to 1879

Top 10 Coldest Daily December Lows
1. 1989: -17
2. 1950, 1951: -14
3. 1880, 1983: -12
4. 1917: -9
5. 1884, 1958, 1963: -8
6. 1878, 1901, 1960: -7
7. 1925: -6
8. 1962, 1976: -5
9. 1882, 1909, 1914, 1932, 1935: -4
10. 1924, 1945: -3

Average Coldest December Low By Decade
2010s*: 15.0
2000s: 9.1
1990s: 10.7
1980s: 1.3
1970s: 8.4
1960s: 2.2
1950s: 1.4
1940s: 8.1
1930s: 6.9
1920s: 6.2
1910s: 7.9
1900s: 6.3
1890s: 7.4
1880s: 4.1
1870s**: -1.0
*2010 to 2012
**1878 to 1879

Top 5 Decembers with Most 32 or Below Highs
1. 1915: 24
2. 2010: 22
3. 1963, 1989: 21
4. 1909: 20
5. 1950, 1980, 2000: 18
6. 1910, 1917, 1976: 16
7. 1880, 1945, 1962, 1995: 15
8. 1903, 1914, 1935, 1958, 1960, 1983: 14
9. 1878, 1892, 1904, 1944, 2005: 13
10. 1932, 1942, 1969, 1985: 12

Average December 32 or Below Highs By Decade
2010s*: 8.7
2000s: 8.5
1990s: 5.4
1980s: 9.6
1970s: 7.7
1960s: 11.2
1950s: 7.5
1940s: 7.4
1930s: 7.4
1920s: 6.6
1910s: 10.6
1900s: 9.8
1890s: 8.7
1880s: 6.6
1870s**: 8.5
*2010 to 2012
**1878 to 1879

Top 5 Decemberswith Most 32 or Below Lows
1. 1903, 1962, 1976: 31
2. 1886, 1910, 1919, 1963, 1988, 1989: 30
3. 1950, 1958, 1960, 1969, 1980, 2000, 2010: 29
4. 1880, 1904, 1915, 1945: 28
5. 1890, 1908, 1909, 1944, 1954, 1978, 20009: 27

Average December 32 or Below Lows By Decade
2010s*: 20.3
2000s: 22.5
1990s: 21.0
1980s: 24.3
1970s: 22.8
1960s: 26.1
1950s: 24.1
1940s: 22.4
1930s: 21.5
1920s: 22.0
1910s: 23.7
1900s: 25.1
1890s: 22.6
1880s: 21.1
1870s**: 21.0
*2010 to 2012
**1878 to 1879

December Heat

Top 20 Warmest December Means
1. 1889: 44.6
2. 1923: 42.0
3. 1931: 41.1
4. 1946: 40.8
5. 1918, 1982: 40.4
6. 2006: 40.1
7. 1891: 40.0
8. 1984: 39.5
9. 2012: 39.4
10. 2011: 38.9

Top 10 Warmest December Highs
1. 1982: 76
2. 1998: 73
3. 1971: 72
4. 1956, 2001: 70
5. 1966: 69
6. 1951, 1984, 2008: 68
7. 1889, 1909, 1970, 2004: 67
8. 1931, 1952, 1959, 2007: 66
9. 1901, 1949, 1953, 1964, 1995: 65
10. 1892, 1893, 1897, 1918, 1922, 1927, 1932, 1933, 1941, 1946, 1948, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1967, 2006: 64

Average December Warmest High By Decade
2010s*: 62.3
2000s: 61.1
1990s: 62.2
1980s: 59.6
1970s: 61.8
1960s: 61.1
1950s: 62.8
1940s: 59.9
1930s: 57.8
1920s: 61.2
1910s: 57.7
1900s: 58.7
1890s: 60.6
1880s: 59.3
1870s**: 55.0
*2010 to 2012
**1878 to 1879

Top 10 Warmest December Lows
1. 1998: 62
2. 1982: 61
3. 1966: 59
4. 1964: 57
5. 1929: 56
6. 1889, 1936, 2012: 55
7. 1916, 1927, 1951, 2001: 54
8. 1891, 1914, 1923, 1984: 53
9. 1895, 1940, 1956, 1965, 1973, 1991, 2012: 52
10. 1897, 1920, 1932, 1941, 1952, 1957, 1994, 1999, 2006: 51

Average December Warmest Low By Decade
2010s*: 48.7
2000s: 44.7
1990s: 46.0
1980s: 42.6
1970s: 44.6
1960s: 43.8
1950s: 46.2
1940s: 43.7
1930s: 44.4
1920s: 46.4
1910s: 44.3
1900s: 40.8
1890s: 47.1
1880s: 43.6
1870s**: 42.5
*2010 to 2012
**1878 to 1879

Top 5 Decembes with Most 70 or Above Highs
1. 1982: 2
2. 1956, 1971, 1998, 2001: 1
3. All the Rest: 0

Top 10 Months with the Greatest Temperature Range in Degrees (Monthly Max to Minimum)
1. 1951: 82
2. 1901: 72
3. 1880, 1909, 1960: 71
4. 1958, 1962, 1966: 69
5. 1884, 1932, 1950, 1963, 2004: 68
6. 1989: 67
7. 1924, 1933: 66
8. 1925, 1961, 1982, 1983, 2008: 65
9. 1953: 64
10. 1914: 63