With temps having retreated back to more mid-December like levels now, I thought I’d share some stats on how things stand after the warm start to this month.
Taking into account data through yesterday, December 16, we’ve had an average monthly temperature of 33.6° – that’s 2.4° above average. It’s certainly significant, but ranks as only the 40th warmest Dec. 1 – 16 period on record.
Despite some warm December days, there have been warmer Dec. 1-16 periods on record (through 1896). Statistic from NWS Northern IN.
The month’s highest temp to date was 53° (on 12/14). Our lowest temp to this point has been 21° (on 12/4 and 12/11), which is 12° higher than our coldest temp from November, when it got down to 9° on both the 18th and 21st.
As far as precipitation goes, we’ve had .89″ to date, which is .56″ below average. Most of this month’s precip has been rain – only .1″ has been frozen precip.
In a previous post, Greg wrote about early hints of snow on the ground for Christmas Day. To follow up with that post, I thought I’d share this map from the National Climatic Data Center of the historical probability of having a “White Christmas”. The NCDC considers a “White Christmas” to be one with more than 1″ of snow on the ground.
Historical Probability of a “White Christmas” (Image Credit: NOAA/NCDC)
For our region, the probability lies between 25%-50%, with the greater likelihood of a “White Christmas” for those areas from Fort Wayne northward. Click on the map to enlarge it.
There are plenty of great Christmas events popping up on our WANE Community Calendar as we get closer to the holiday. One of note is the Defiance County Christmas Cruise Thru and Holiday Festival, which is in its second and final weekend this week. From Friday through Sunday night, 6-9 PM, you can “cruise” through the fairgrounds to enjoy a nice lighted display. You’ll also be able to park your car and head inside to enjoy a variety of activities. Live entertainment is featured, along with real reindeer, a train and village display, candy canes and photos with Santa, plus local crafters and various nativity scenes. There will be carriage rides, too. The local Boy Scouts will be selling food and beverages.
Your Defiance County Christmas Cruise Thru Forecast for 12/12/14
The admission charge is simply a goodwill offering. All proceeds stay with the fairgrounds.
It won’t be a bad night to be out there cruising around, either. Temps for this event will start off in the mid 30s, falling to around freezing by the time the night’s activities end. Winds won’t be bad, from the west between 5 and 10 mph.
A Midland NOAA Weather Radio (Credit: Midland Radio Corporation)
If you’re having a hard time coming up with the perfect holiday gift for a friend or family member, let me pop this idea into your mind…how about a NOAA Weather Radio? It’s a life-saving tool – one that many people don’t yet have in their homes.
Why is a NOAA Weather Radio so important? It will constantly monitor for weather alerts, like Severe Thunderstorm Watches/Warnings and Tornado Watches/Warnings, and then sound an alarm. This can be life-saving, especially at night, when you may be sleeping and not viewing or using other media. NOAA Weather Radios also monitor for other types of non-weather emergencies, including AMBER alerts, chemical spills and terrorist attacks.
When looking for a weather radio, look for the packaging to say it uses S.A.M.E technology. This will allow you to program it specifically for your county. Be on alert for other radios that simply just play the weather radio band. While you’ll be able to hear the weather radio feed, those radios likely won’t automatically sound an alarm for your county.
NOAA Weather Radios can be purchased from a number of companies and stores. The Midland Radio Corporation makes some of the best models out there and is the company WANE partners with for our annual weather radio events.
2014 sure has been an interesting weather year. It started with the “Toughest Winter Ever” underway and we finished the season having experienced the 6th coldest winter on record. Summer had some hot days, but the intense, sultry heat and humidity we often experience, for at least a few days each year, never really materialized. Then, just last month, a blast of cold air and a few inches of snow swooped in to bring a start to the wintry weather of the 2014-2015 season.
So, you might not be surprised that this year is statistically colder than average. However, it may, indeed, surprise you to know just how cold the year has been so far.
Fort Wayne’s average 2014 temp is 48.7° (thru 12/8) – that’s 3.3°below average.
The National Weather Service reported today that, taking into account data through December 8, this year is Fort Wayne’s 3rd coldest year on record! Don’t forget, though, we still have 23 more days this month that will need to be factored into this stat. With above average highs and lows expected by the weekend and early next week, it’ll make it more difficult for us to move into 1st or 2nd coldest territory before the year wraps up.
Monday’s high temp of 50° will be almost 15° warmer than the date’s average high of 36°.
Despite some recent and significant rainfall last week in parts of the state, 55% of California remains in an “Exceptional Drought”, which is the most severe drought level. Last year at this time, while 97% of the state was considered to be in a drought, no part of the state was categorized as being in an “Exceptional Drought”.
This drought, like all droughts, didn’t just pop up overnight. It’s been ongoing and clearly has gotten much worse this past year. CBS News reports that 2014 marks the state’s third consecutive year in a drought. And, it’s been the driest year on the record books, which date back 119 years.
Drought Monitor (Credit: Anthony Artusa: NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC)
Record rainfall came to Los Angeles last week on December 2, when 1.21″ was recorded.
Rain continued to fall in parts of the state past the Dec. 2 data cutoff for the above version of the Drought Monitor. As a result, we may see some slight changes when this week’s update is released on Thursday.
Take a look below at a loop of satellite imagery from last week as the storm clouds (and associated rain) moved across California.
Last night brought a full moon overhead and it’ll still be around tonight, although filtered out by clouds coming in ahead of our next precip chances on Monday.
A fun weather fact for you: December’s full moon is known as the “Full Cold Moon”. This is because December often heralds the arrival of wintry cold air that stays awhile…but, you have to admit, our December days, so far, haven’t been all that bad. And, our temp forecast, looks good for the week ahead. We’ll be at or above average most days this week with a nice weekend warm up coming. Click here for the 7-Day.
So far, so good this month. Despite the “Full Cold Moon” on Dec. 6, cold wintry air doesn’t have a hold on us just yet.
As previously highlighted here on the blog, the only weather worry of the week comes on Monday and extends into Tuesday. During this time, rain and snow showers will fall across the area.
When rain starts falling Monday afternoon, temps around 40° will mean we won’t have to worry about icy patches forming right away. However, as the hours go by and temps fall, slick spots will become possible by late night into the Tuesday morning commute. It’s also likely that we’ll see some snowflakes mix in with the rain showers, at times, and this could happen as early as late Monday afternoon. However, little, if any, snow accumulation is expected – even as lake effect rain and snow showers linger on Tuesday.
Sctd. rain starts by mid-afternoon
Temps well above freezing when rain begins
Some sctd. rain/snow regionwide Tue AM
Temps below freezing may mean some icy patches on roads
Our Friday night rain exits by Saturday morning and things are looking good for the weekend that’s ahead.
Rain moves out by morning
A pleasant December weekend is on the way
As we move farther into the cold months of the year, there are fewer and fewer outdoor events to give forecasts for. However, there’s an annual event underway this weekend that fits the bill and, also, provides some indoor fun, too.
Out at the Allen County Fairgrounds, 2726 Carroll Rd. in Fort Wayne, you’ll find “A Country Christmas” taking place. It runs from 6-9PM and is also scheduled for next Friday and Saturday nights (Dec. 12 and Dec. 13), too. There are horse-drawn wagon rides to enjoy, light displays, animals and crafts. Plus, Santa will be there in person and may even join in to enjoy the chili supper that will be offered.
Admission is $5 person, kids 5 and under are free.
Seasonably cold weather is expected for Saturday night’s outdoor events.
As we’ve been alerting you here on the blog and, also, on NewsChannel 15, it’s looking likely that our area is going to receive a significant amount of rainfall from Friday into Saturday morning as a system that was over the southwestern U.S today heads our way. Fort Wayne and points northward will pick up around 1″ of rain by Saturday morning, with amounts between 1″-2″ likely south of Fort Wayne.
Futurecast rain totals through Saturday at 8 AM
This precip begins tonight with some scattered rain showers possible, as a result of a separate disturbance that’s around the region, and, as temps fall, those raindrops could become snowflakes along with some freezing drizzle by morning. All of our nighttime/early morning precip will be rather light in intensity and quantity. However, do be on alert for some icy patches early in the morning. They won’t last long, though, with temps rising above freezing by mid-morning.
By later in the afternoon and evening (between 3 and 8 PM), the steadiest, heaviest rain of the day will arrive and continue overnight into early Saturday.
Just a few days into the month of December, we’ve had some relatively calm days to enjoy. Of course, conditions typically change significantly as the month goes on. Just take a look at the graphic below. Both average high and low temps fall 9° from the start of the month to its end.
We’ll also experience the shortest amount of daylight during the year later this month on Dec. 21. This will coincide with the winter solstice and the arrival of astronomical winter.
And, of course, we’re likely to see some snow. On average, the month of December picks up around 8″ of the white stuff.