Thursday, December 10, 2015

Autumn 2015 Climate Summary for Northern and Eastern Maine


Overall, the meteorological fall of 2015 featured above normal temperatures. Temperatures averaged from 1.5 to 4 degrees above normal. At Caribou, the average 3-month temperature of 46.1 degrees was 2.8 degrees above the 30-year average temperature. In fact, it ranked as the 4th warmest fall on record. At Bangor, the average
temperature of 49.7 degrees was 1.5 degrees above normal, and it ranked as the 13th warmest fall on record.

Precipitation as is usually the case was more variable geographically across the region, but the character of the fall was decided dry. The most significant rainfall event occurred at the end of September, and in many areas over half of the precipitation for the entire fall occurred from late in the day on the 29th through the 30th.

At Caribou, a total of 8.82 inches of rain (and melted snow) was observed, which was 1.65 inches below normal.  It ranked as the 11th driest fall on record.  Only 4.1 inches of snow was observed, which was 8 inches below normal. It ranked only behind 2006 as the least snowy fall on record at Caribou.

At Bangor, a total of 11.73 inches of rain was observed this past fall, which was 83 hundredths of an inch above normal. Nearly half of that rainfall occurred on just one day on September 30th when 5.27 inches of rain was observed, which was the 3rd wettest calendar day ever on record.  A total of 2.5 inches of snow was observed this
past fall, which was just one half inch above normal.

The fall started on a very warm note, and in fact September was the 2nd warmest on record at Caribou and the 3rd warmest at Houlton and Bangor.  Although much of the month was relatively dry, a heavy rain storm produced over 7 inches of rain in southeast Aroostook County and from 5 to 7 inches of rain across portions of Downeast Maine on the last two days of the month.  The unusually warm weather delayed the peak of the fall deciduous tree colors by up to 2 weeks.

Temperatures turned much cooler in October, and the month ended with temperatures from 1 to 3 degrees below average.  Again, the general character of the month was dry, but a storm system on the 29th of the month produced 3 to 4 inches of rain in parts of Washington County.  A storm system on the 17th of the month produced the first measurable snowfall for many areas north of Bangor with up to 6 inches of snow in parts of the Katahdin Region.

November was warmer and drier than normal with well below normal snowfall. Temperatures averaged from 2 to 4 degrees above normal and precipitation ranged from 40 to 65 percent of normal.  It ranked as the 9th warmest and 9th driest November on record at Caribou.  At Bangor, it ranked as the 12th driest November on record. A total of 3.8 inches of snow was observed at Caribou making it the 9th least snowy November on record.