Thursday, February 20, 2014

December 2013 Revisited

December 2013 was:

Above average: Solar radiation
Average or near: Wind
Below Average: Temperature, rainfall, snowfall

December's are usually cold, but this one was COLD.  My station's average temperature of 34.3° was colder than the long term December average of 35.7°, and colder than the more recent (2001-2012) average of 35.4°. The official average temperature in Hood River, recorded at HOXO, was 33.7°. 

The maximum temperature (at my station) was 57°, and the low temp was 1°.
Official Hood River highs and lows (at HOXO) were 57° and 0°.

This December was notable in that a Ridiculously Resilient Ridge of high pressure planted itself offshore early in the month, and diverted nearly all moisture to the north for the rest of the month.   These ridges have been way too common the past few winters. They often result in inversions, and aren't good for increasing much needed snowpack.

Solar radiation averaged 96 Ly/day, compared to an average December of 73 Ly/day.

The 24 hour average wind speed (for the month) at my weather station was 1.7 mph, compared to an average December wind speed of 1.8 mph.  The peak wind gust was 30 mph on the 21st.  Wind speeds at other less sheltered locations (like the Waterfront) were, of course, higher. 

Barometric pressure peaked at 30.69", and the low barometric was 29.77".

Regarding rainfall, my station received 3.13", while HOXO recorded 2.98".  An average December receives 5.85", and our water-year-to-date precipitation continued to slip even further behind than in November.

Hood River received it's first measurable snowfall of the season on the 6th, when 2.0" fell, in the middle of the Arctic Blast.   An average December receives 8.6" of snow.

There were 2 local weather records set in December.  On the 1st, we were deluged with 2.23" of warm rain from the tropics, soundly breaking the old record of 1.07" set in 1942.   The warmth and the rain didn't last long though, as the Arctic Blast air moved in, setting a new low temperature record of 4° on Dec 4th.   The previous record was 9° in 2009.

These monthly summaries use data from my weather station located near May and Rand Streets in Hood River. To view my weather station's data for December 2013, click here.

For official Hood River data, and historical averages/records, the data comes from both the manually read NOAA station at MCAREC, and HOXO, the automated station located right next to MCAREC.

One of the more stressful yet strangely compelling tasks in life is getting ready for Christmas Day.   Between the putting up of decorations, sending cards (you still do that?), and trying to figure out who to buy stuff for, and what they might possibly want, it's all enough to drive one to drink, not to mention eat a lot.

However, there's actually a deeper meaning to Christmas, one that involves actual joy and celebration, as Paul Simon reminds us in this song, as only Paul Simon can do.

And here's a short "making of" video, explaining some of what went into the making of. 

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