Winter 2014-2015: A Look Back- November 2014

While it’s still possible to get snow into April, winter is essentially over for one more year. For the second year in a row, winter was colder and snowier than normal, so let’s look at the monthly play-by-play as well as the final stats.

November 2014
First, a reminder of November normals.
High: 52.6
Low: 36.1
Mean: 44.4
Precipitation: 3.20″
Snowfall: 0.9″
Snow Depth: 0.0″

November 2014 Average High: 45.7
1878-2014 Ranking: 10th Coldest
Departure from Normal: -6.9

November 2014 Average Low: 30.0
1878-2014 Ranking: 6th Coldest
Departure from Normal: -6.1

November 2014 Mean Temperature: 37.8
1878-2014 Ranking: 7th Coldest
Departure from Normal: -6.6

Coldest November 2014 High: 19 on the 18th
1878-2014 Ranking: 5th Coldest
The 19 recorded on the 18th was the record coldest high ever recorded for the date, beating the previous 1903 record by a full 7 degrees!
Other near record low highs:
33 on the 17th. 3rd coldest daily high for the date.
27 on the 21st. 3rd coldest daily high for the date.

Coldest November 2014 Low: 12 on the 18th.
1878-2014 Ranking: 8th Coldest
The 12 recorded on the 18th was the 2nd coldest low ever recorded for the date.
Other near record lows:
13 on the 19th. 2nd coldest low for the date.
14 on the 21st. 2nd coldest low for the date.

Number of Highs 32 Degrees or Below: 4
1878-2014 Rank: 5th Highest

Number of Lows 32 Degrees or Below: 19
1878-2014 Rank: 4th Highest

November 2014 was clearly very cold historically, coming in as a top 10 coldest ever.

The month overall was rather dry, with just 1.46″ of precipitation, which was 1.74″ below normal. This was the 22nd driest November since 1878.

November 2014 Precipitation Days: 20
1″+ Daily Precipitation Days: 0
0.5″+ Daily Precipitation Days: 0
0.25″+ Daily Precipitation Days: 3

Snowfall, despite the dry month, came in at a bit above normal, at 4.1″. Still, this was the 15th snowiest November on record, as the graph shows.

Greatest November 2014 Daily Snowfall: 3.8″ on the 17th.
1878-2014 Rank: 10th Greatest
The 3.8″ on the 17th was also the 2nd highest total for the date.

Snowfall Days: 9
1″+ Snowfall Days: 1
2.5″+ Snowfall Days: 1
5″+ Snowfall Days: 0

Greatest Daily Snow Depth: 3″ on the 18th and 19th.
Average Monthly Snow Depth: 0.4″

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.

July Precipitation Records 1878-2012

Top 20 Wettest Julys
1. 1992: 12.36
2. 1896: 9.47
3. 1958: 9.46
4. 1979: 8.06
5. 1990: 8.00
6. 1988: 7.80
7. 1969: 7.65
8. 1943: 7.05
9. 1995: 6.99
10. 1897: 6.95
11. 1985: 6.88
12. 1915: 6.85
13. 1989: 6.79
14. 2004: 6.46
15. 1947: 6.34
16. 1928: 6.27
17. 1907: 6.07
18. 1994: 6.03
19. 2010: 6.01
20. 1993: 5.94

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*For this and all other graphs, the 1870s include 1878-1879 only, while the 2010s include 2010-2012 only.

Top 20 Driest Julys
1. 1940: 0.49
2. 1916: 0.66
3. 1933: 0.85
4. 1951: 0.99
5. 1974: 1.14
6. 1901: 1.23
7. 1893: 1.27
8. 1930: 1.28
9. 1887, 1895: 1.45
10. 1914: 1.64
11. 2008: 1.65
12. 1894: 1.74
13. 2005: 1.79
14. 1890, 1936: 1.80
15. 1978: 1.81
16. 1944: 1.99
17. 1975: 2.04
18. 1903: 2.05
19. 1991: 1.14
20. 1884: 2.16

Top 20 Largest Daily Rainfalls
1. 7/13/1992: 5.13
2. 7/11/1897: 3.76
3. 7/15/1947: 3.39
4. 7/23/2002: 3.06
5. 7/24/1896: 3.01
6. 7/1/1993: 2.89
7. 7/20/1988: 2.85
8. 7/30/1886: 2.84
9. 7/6/1955: 2.67
10. 7/10/1979: 2.61
11. 7/27/1926: 2.49
12. 7/7/1943: 2.40
13. 7/17/1931: 2.39
14. 7/14/1985: 2.38
15. 7/31/2004: 2.36
16. 7/10/1880: 2.34
17. 7/1/1987: 2.32
18. 7/12/1990, 7/26/1995: 2.31
19. 7/24/1971: 2.28
20. 7/18/1953: 2.26

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Top 5 Julys with Most Days with Precipitation
1. 1888: 28
2. 1896: 22
3. 1915: 21
4. 1906, 1907, 1961, 1992: 19
5. 1898, 1912, 1928, 1935, 1942, 2003: 18

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Top 4 Julys with Most Days with 1″ or More Precipitation Days
1. 1969, 1979: 4
2. 1881, 1935, 1958, 1992: 3
3. Many: 2
4. Many: 1

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Top 3 Julys with Most 0.50″ or More Precipitation Days
1. 1919: 7
2. 1915, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 2011: 6
3. Many: 5

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Top 5 Julys with Most 0.25″ or More Precipitation Days
1. 1896, 1915, 1992: 11
2. 1906, 1950: 10
3. 1907, 1961, 1988, 1989: 9
4. 1932, 1942, 1958, 1985, 1990, 2006: 8
5. 1899, 1919, 1920, 1948, 1956, 1979, 2011: 7

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