Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mid-December Cold Wave Update One

Mid-December Cold Wave

Fall 2013 Climate Summary for northern and eastern Maine

Fall 2013 averaged just a bit above average for temperatures and above average for precipitation across northeast Maine, and near to a little below normal across the remainder of the region.

September will mostly be remembered for the continuation of the very wet weather which began in mid May.  Caribou and Bangor had their 3rd and 4th wettest Septembers on record respectively. The warmest weather of the fall occurred on September 11th when most areas had highs in the lower to mid 80s.  This was followed within 6 days by the coolest morning of the month on the 17th…when most areas inland from theimmediate coast dropped into the 30s with some frost.  Estcourt Station and Houlton had a hard freeze with lows of 27 and 28 degrees respectively.

October was mostly a mild and dry month.  October got off to a very mild start with well above normal temperatures during the first two thirds of the month…with highs on the 1st and 2nd as well as the 10th and 11th reaching well into the 70s north of the immediate coast.  Significant cooling arrived during the last 10 days of the month.  The first measurable snowfall of the season arrived at the end of the month with snowfall of a half an inch to 3 inches across the northern portion of the region on the 28th.  The coldest temperatures of the month were also observed on the last two mornings of the month with a low of 15 degrees observed at Houlton on the 30th.  Precipitation was well below normal in most areas and this ended a streak of above normal precipitation months which began in May.  At Bangor…only 1.02 inches of rain was observed…which made it the 3rd driest October on record.  Across far northern Maine the fall foliage peaked around the 1st of the month…and for Downeast areas the peak was near the 10th of the month.

November 2013 finished with slightly below normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.  The warmest weather was observed on the 1st with highs in the 60s.  The lowest temperatures of the month were observed on the last day of the month.  The first below zero temperature of the season was observed at Estcourt Station and Big Black River on the morning of the 29th with lows of 7 below and 3 below respectively.  The morning of the 30th was even colder with a low of 10 below at both of the above stations.

Precipitation was close to normal for the month.  Across the northern half of the area there were several small snow events from the 10th through the end of the month.  The biggest event of the fall was a strong storm on the 27th into the 28th that produced rainfall amounts in excess of 3 inches in parts of coastal Hancock and Washington counties…and from 1 to 2.5 inches across much of the remainder of the area.  Across far northern Maine 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulated before a rapid changeover to rain.  Wind gusts from this storm reached 40 to 50 mph across much of the region…and 50 to 60 mph near the coast.  There were peak wind gusts of 64 mph at Eastport and 69 mph at Lubec in Washington County.

The outlook from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) for the winter of 2013-14 (December through February) for northern and eastern Maine calls for an increased likelihood that the 3-month average temperatures will be above normal.  This is due to the combination that the winters over the most recent decade have been above normal and some of the long range forecasting tools point toward above normal temperatures.  There are no strong climate signals that would tilt the odds toward an unusually wet (snowy) or dry winter.

Winter Storm Dion event summary, Maine Data