Aside from making up lost time, I never thought one extra day every four years would make a big difference. Sure, there are a select few that were born on February 29th, and I am absolutely in favor of celebrating their special day. But really…what difference could one day, one February 29th make? Well, after this past Wednesday, I stand…or write…corrected, by Mother Nature.
Before I explain the impact of having one extra day in 2012, I need to catch you up to speed with my thoughts. As the calendar flipped from February to March, meteorologists closed the book on the winter of 2011-2012 and welcomed the “spring” season. Technically, spring does not arrive until just after midnight on March 20th. However, to keep records consistent and open to comparison with past seasons, it was decided long ago that the meteorological spring would run from March 1st to May 31st.
Anyway, once the final weather observation was logged, all the weather nerds, including me , dug into the data so we could see how the winter lined up with past seasons. To no surprise, the winter of 2011-2012 was milder compared to others. However, believe it or not, we actually ended above average for moisture. Check out these numbers:
- Mean Temperature (DJF): 23.9° — 5th warmest on record
- Liquid Precip. (Rain/Meltwater): 3.58″ (+0.88″)
- Snow: 21.9″ (-8.1″ [3 month departure]) — 37th driest on record.
True. If you look at the snow amount, we fell well below our average snow amount. But we received a lot more rain and sleet than usual. The final observation for liquid on February 28th was 0.89″, and had the winter ended then, we would have finished 0.01″ above average. However, that one extra day allowed us to pile on another 0.87″ of liquid. In final, the winter of 2011-2012 will go down as the 41st wettest on record.
Posted under Hometown Weather
This post was written by Nick Grunseth on March 2, 2012