Sunday, March 16, 2014

Washington DC Climate: March 2014

Latest update: March 23
For daily updates most days around 6 pm EDT:



March is on track for an average temperature of 42.7°, which would be 4.1° below the long-term average and the coldest since 1993, when it was 42.2°. Precipitation remains below average.

Washington DC daily temperature departures from normal and monthly average to date (click to enlarge):


Washington DC daily precipitation and monthly departure from normal to date (click to enlarge):


CapitalClimate charts from National Weather Service data. Background image from Kevin Ambrose.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Washington DC Climate: February 2014

Latest update: February 28
For daily updates most days around 5 pm EST:



Final February charts:

Washington DC daily temperature departures from normal and monthly average to date (click to enlarge):


Washington DC daily precipitation and monthly departure from normal to date (click to enlarge):


CapitalClimate charts from National Weather Service data. Background image from Kevin Ambrose.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Washington DC Climate: January 2014

Washington DC daily temperature departures and monthly average to date (click to enlarge):


Washington DC daily precipitation and monthly departure to date (click to enlarge):


CapitalClimate charts from National Weather Service data. Background image from Kevin Ambrose.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Omaha Crushes 119-Year Temperature Record


Image (click to enlarge): U.S. temperatures at 3 pm CST, January 19, 2014, from Unisys

9 PM Update: Added Hastings, Broken Bow, Imperial NE and Salina, Russell KS

Original post:
A mid-winter mini-heatwave tied or broke long-standing high temperature records across at least 3 states on January 19, according to preliminary reports from the National Weather Service (NWS). The 65° at Omaha absolutely crushed the previous record for the date of 60°, which dated back 119 years to 1895. Omaha is one of the original official Weather Bureau observing sites whose climate history began in 1871. An 1895 record also fell at Lincoln, where it was 66°.

The preliminary records reported by the NWS (POR indicates the year in which the period of record began):

Location Record Previous Date POR
NE Lincoln 66 65 1895 1887
Norfolk 66 66 1921 1888
Omaha 65 60 1895 1871
McCook 68 66 1997 1896
Chadron 61 60 2003 1895
Grand Island 68 62 1997 1895
Hastings 67 62 1921 1894
Broken Bow 65 64 1951 1894
Imperial 66 66 1911 1893
KS Hill City 69 66 2006 1896
Salina 68 68 2003 1894
Russell 69 69 1986 0
IA Sioux City 65 59 1921 1889

Friday, December 6, 2013

It Hasn't Cooled Since 1989;
Washington December Daily Low Temperature Records


Images (click to enlarge): December daily record low temperatures for Washington, DC, by year of occurrence; Number of December daily record lows per decade; CapitalClimate charts from National Weather Service data

If you can remember the last time Washington, DC set a daily record low temperature in December, you've been hanging around too long in Babble-On on the Potomac. It was the first year of the G.H.W. Bush administration when a record low of 7° was set on December 23, 1989. The high of 22° that day was also a record low maximum for the date. Since then, there have been no new December record daily lows in the decades of the 1990s, 2000s, or so far in the 2010s. The only other decade with no December cold records was the 1950s.

Here are some other statistics of Washington December low temperature records:
- Half (15) of the daily records were set over 100 years ago, from 1872 through 1904, and 2 more were set 99 years ago.
- The 1880s had the most records of any decade with 7, followed by the 1910s with 5. Interestingly, all of the 1880s records occurred in even-numbered years.
- Except for the 1980s (4 records), no decade since the 1910s has had more than 2 records.
- The all-time coldest December temperature was -13° on December 31, 1880. This was just 2° warmer than the all-time Washington low of -15° on February 11, 1899. It was also a record -7° on December 30, 1880. These are the only December dates with lows below 0°.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rain's Early Fall Smashes Pacific Northwest Precipitation Records



September 30 Update: September monthly precipitation records have also been set in Oregon at Eugene, Hillsboro, McMinnville (second highest), Portland (downtown and airport), and Salem, as well as at Vancouver, Washington. Details have been added below.

Original post:
Driven by persistent abnormally low pressure in the northeastern Pacific, an early onset of the rainy season is smashing precipitation records for September in the Pacific Northwest. Through this morning, Astoria, Oregon had broken century-plus records for all-time wettest September (by over 1"), wettest September day (by almost 1"), and wettest 2-day and 3-day totals for September. These records were further extended by the 2.00" which had fallen through 4 pm this afternoon, tying the daily record for Sept. 29 from 1951 and bringing the monthly total to date to 10.10", which is just 0.10" less than 500% of normal.

The rainfall map above shows that large parts of coastal Oregon have seen precipitation for the month of September to date (through the 28th) which is over 400% of average, with some areas over 600%.


The map to the right (click to enlarge) shows the pressure pattern Saturday evening over North America near the middle of the atmosphere, expressed as the standard deviation of the height of the 500 mb level. There is a huge area of greater than 3 standard deviations below average along the coast and offshore of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. (Note that in a randomly distributed "bell curve", 99.7% of all observations would be within 3 standard deviations of the average.)


The National Weather Service (NWS) report for Astoria:
AS OF 11 AM THIS MORNING...OVER 5 INCHES OF RAIN HAVE FALLEN ON 
 ASTORIA AIRPORT THIS WEEKEND. THIS RAINFALL HAS SHATTERED NUMEROUS 
 SEPTEMBER RECORDS...REMARKABLE CONSIDERING THAT RECORDS HAVE BEEN 
 KEPT IN ASTORIA SINCE 1890.
 
    RAINFALL RECORDS BROKEN IN ASTORIA
 ----------------------------------------
 
 1. ALL-TIME WETTEST SEPTEMBER ON RECORD...
    1. SEP 2013......... 9.70 INCHES AND COUNTING.
    2. SEP 1906......... 8.66 INCHES.
    3. SEP 1920......... 8.55 INCHES.
    4. SEP 1905......... 7.38 INCHES.
 
 2. WETTEST SEPTEMBER DAY ON RECORD...
    1. SEP 28 2013...... 3.56 INCHES.
    2. SEP 16 1997...... 2.67 INCHES.
    3. SEP 30 1953...... 2.41 INCHES.
    4. SEP 13 1935...... 2.27 INCHES.
 
 3. WETTEST 2-DAY TOTAL FOR SEPTEMBER...TOP 2 NOW SET IN 2013.
    1. SEP 28-29 2013... 5.16 INCHES AND COUNTING.
    2. SEP 27-28 2013... 4.55 INCHES.
    3. SEP 3-4 1913..... 3.46 INCHES.
    4. SEP 16-17 1997... 3.42 INCHES.
 
 4. WETTEST 3-DAY TOTAL FOR SEPTEMBER...
    1. SEP 27-29 2013... 6.15 INCHES AND COUNTING.
    2. SEP 2-4 1913..... 4.31 INCHES. 
    3. SEP 15-17 1997... 4.16 INCHES. 
In Washington state, daily rainfall records were set for September 28 at Seattle-Tacoma, Olympia, Hoquiam, and Quillayute. An inspection of National Climatic Data Center records indicates that the 2.93" at Olympia was not only more than triple the old record, it was also an all-time daily record for September, well above the 1.67 on Sept. 17, 2010. Olympia records began in 1948. The NWS reports:
A RECORD RAINFALL OF 2.93 INCHES WAS SET AT OLYMPIA WA AIRPORT ON
SEP 28TH. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 0.82 SET IN 1971.

A RECORD RAINFALL OF 1.71 INCHES WAS SET AT SEATTLE-TACOMA WA
AIRPORT ON SEP 28TH. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 0.83 SET IN 1948.

A RECORD RAINFALL OF 1.78 INCHES WAS SET AT HOQUIAM WA AIRPORT ON
SEP 28TH. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 1.02 SET IN 1962.

A RECORD RAINFALL OF 1.93 INCHES WAS SET AT QUILLAYUTE WA AIRPORT
ON SEP 28TH. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 1.32 SET IN 1971.
The NWS reported on September 30 that several other locations in Washington and Oregon have set September rainfall records:
1. ASTORIA (1890)...
   1. SEP 2013......... 10.51 INCHES AND COUNTING.
   2. SEP 1906......... 8.66 INCHES.
   3. SEP 1920......... 8.55 INCHES.
   4. SEP 1905......... 7.38 INCHES.
      CLIMATOLOGICAL NORMAL: 2.14 INCHES.

2. EUGENE (1890)...
   1. SEP 2013......... 6.16 INCHES AND COUNTING.
   2. SEP 1927......... 5.21 INCHES.
   3. SEP 1911......... 4.91 INCHES.
   4. SEP 1986......... 4.65 INCHES.
      CLIMATOLOGICAL NORMAL: 1.29 INCHES.

3. HILLSBORO (1929)...
   1. SEP 2013......... 6.10 INCHES AND COUNTING.
   2. SEP 1945......... 3.68 INCHES.
   3. SEP 1982......... 3.46 INCHES.
   4. SEP 1977......... 3.43 INCHES.
      CLIMATOLOGICAL NORMAL: 1.26 INCHES.

4. MCMINNVILLE (1894)...
   1. SEP 1996......... 7.58 INCHES.
   2. SEP 2013......... 5.58 INCHES AND COUNTING
   3. SEP 1901......... 4.83 INCHES.
   4. SEP 1914......... 4.28 INCHES.
      CLIMATOLOGICAL NORMAL: 1.31 INCHES.

5. PORTLAND AIRPORT (1940)...
   1. SEP 2013......... 5.06 INCHES AND COUNTING.
   2. SEP 1986......... 4.30 INCHES.
   3. SEP 1982......... 3.98 INCHES.
   4. SEP 1945......... 3.96 INCHES.
      CLIMATOLOGICAL NORMAL: 1.47 INCHES

6. PORTLAND DOWNTOWN (1872)...
   1. SEP 2013......... 6.21 INCHES AND COUNTING.
   2. SEP 1927......... 5.52 INCHES.
   3. SEP 1911......... 5.19 INCHES.
   4. SEP 1969......... 4.87 INCHES.
      CLIMATOLOGICAL NORMAL: 1.54 INCHES.

7. SALEM (1872)...
   1. SEP 2013......... 6.63 INCHES AND COUNTING.
   2. SEP 1927......... 5.52 INCHES.
   3. SEP 1911......... 5.19 INCHES.
   4. SEP 1969......... 4.87 INCHES.
      CLIMATOLOGICAL NORMAL: 1.28 INCHES.

7. VANCOUVER, WA (1896)...
   1. SEP 2013......... 4.98 INCHES AND COUNTING.
   2. SEP 1911......... 4.88 INCHES.
   3. SEP 1925......... 4.46 INCHES.
   4. SEP 1927......... 4.35 INCHES.
      CLIMATOLOGICAL NORMAL: 1.56 INCHES.



Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.


Latest 3-month temperature outlook from Climate Prediction Center/NWS/NOAA.