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January 12, 2010

US was colder in December, but 2009 was warm

The lower 48 states were much colder than average in December, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But overall, the year 2009 ended slightly warmer than the long-term average. 

The report from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center also notes a number of notable factoids, some of which WeatherBlog readers already know about:

Snow cover Jan. 12, 2010* December 2009 was the wettest on record for Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.

* It was also the snowiest December on record for a number of mid-Atlantic cities, including Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia. Oklahoma City, too, saw its snowiest December ever as arctic air invaded the South.

* The average snow cover for the contiguous U.S. reached 4.1 million square kilometers, the greatest expanse of snow on record for any December since satellite observations began in 1966. (That's the latest snow cover map, at left.)

The December State of the Climate Report says the lower 48 states averaged 30.2 degrees in December. That's very cold - 3.2 degrees below the average. It was also pretty wet. Average precipitation was 2.88 inches, about 0.65 inch above the 1901-2000 average.

But for the whole year, the lower 48 states were both wetter and warmer than average. Temperatures across the country averaged 53.1 degrees Fahrenheit, 0.3 degrees warmer than the long-term average. The average precipitation was 31.47 inches, or 2.33 inches above the long-term average.

Regions that ended the year warmer than average included parts of the South, Southwest and West. The cooler regions included the Central Plains and the Midwest.

You can read more of the NCDC report here.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:41 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: By the numbers


I'd love to see one of those satellite images showing all of the snow.

FR: Here's one shot on Sunday.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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