Saturday, January 03, 2015

December 2014 Climate Summary for northern and eastern Maine

Northern and eastern Maine December climate narrative... ...A mild and wet month...

December 2014 featured well above average temperatures and
precipitation across northern and eastern Maine. Temperatures ranged
from 3 to 6 degrees above normal, and precipitation ranged from 130
to 200 percent of normal.

The month began cold with well below normal temperatures much of the
time from the 2nd through the 8th. Temperatures were then above
normal from the 9th through the 28th with the exception of only one
day.  The month ended on a cold note with well below normal
temperatures the last two days of the month. Record high
temperatures were either set or tied on Christmas Day.  The high of
48 degrees at Caribou tied the record set in 2003.  The high of 54
at Bangor broke the previous record of 51 set in 2003.

At Caribou, the average temperature of 22.3 degrees was 4.1 degrees
above the 1981-2010 normals.  It tied with 1950 as the 9th warmest
December on record.  Five of the top 10 warmest decembers have
occurred since 2000.

At Bangor, the average temperature of 28.9 degrees was 4.3 degrees
above normal.  It ranked as the 12th warmest December on
record, and was the warmest December since 2006.

There were a total of 7 nights when the temperature fell below zero
at Caribou, which is average for December. The temperature did not
fall below zero at Bangor. On average there are 2 nights during the
month of December when the temperature will fall below zero, but it
Is not all that uncommon to go through the entire month of December with no
sub-zero cold.

A total of 5.88 inches of rain (and melted snow) was observed at
Caribou. It was the 3rd wettest december on record behind only 1973
and 2005. A total of 27.1 inches of snow fell, which was 4.2 inches
above normal.

A total of 5.23 inches of rain (and melted snow) was observed at
Bangor.  It ranked as the 14th wettest december on record. Only 6.5
inches of snow was observed, which was 8.5 inches below normal. It
was the least snowy December since 2006.

At the start of the month the snow depth ranged from 3 to 10 inches
across northern and eastern Maine.  The only spots that had no snow
were along the immediate coast. By the end of the month, the snow
depth ranged from 5 to 10 inches across northern Maine with a few
spots likely over a foot in the Great North Woods. There was a
little or no snow on the ground across Down East Maine.

The outlook from the Climate Prediction Center (
for January across our region indicates that there are no strong
climate signals that would point toward an unusually cold or mild
January, although the month will get off to a cold start during the
first third of the month. There are also no climate signals that
would point toward an unusually wet (snowy) or dry month. Average
high temperatures in January are near 20 degrees at Caribou and in
The upper 20 at Bangor.  Average low temperatures bottom out at zero
at Caribou and at 6 above at Bangor. January is on average the
snowiest month of year with an average monthly snowfall of 19.2
inches at Bangor, and 25.2 inches at Caribou. Nearly an hour of
daylight is gained during the month.


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