Wednesday, February 03, 2016

January 2016 Climate Summary for Northern and Eastern Maine

...Monthly climate narrative for northern and eastern Maine...
Overall, January 2016 finished much above average for temperatures and significantly below average for total precipitation, snowfall and snow depth.

Mean temperatures for the month averaged from 5 degrees above normal over Down East areas upwards to 8 degrees above normal across central
and northern portions of the region.  At Caribou, the mean of 17.7 degrees for the month was 7.5 degrees above normal and resulted in the 5th warmest January on record while the average of 22.4 degrees at Bangor, which was 5.4 degrees above average, and finished as the 12th warmest. The warmest portions of the month occurred from the 7th through the 11th and the 26th thru 31st.

Total precipitation was only 40 to 75 percent of normal for January, with the total of 1.42 inches at caribou the 12th driest on record. With less than normal precipitation and well above average temperatures, it should be no shock that snowfall was well below average for the month...Ranging only from 25 to 50 percent...with a couple of precipitation events having a significant rain component. At caribou...The snowfall total of 11.2 inches resulted in the 6th least snowiest January. At Bangor, a total of 5.4" of snow was observed, which made it the 4th least snowy January on record.

Snow depth, which began at 65 to 90 percent of average across the region in the opening days of the month dwindled to 20 to 40 percent of average at the close of the month, which affected some outdoor winter activities such as snow mobiling. One heavy rainfall of upwards of 2 to 3 inches that liquidated a significant amount of
priorly established snow pack...Occurred on the 10th....Particularly over southern and central portions of the region...Resulting in some minor urban and small stream flooding.

The outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for February call for an increased likelihood of above average temperatures. There are no strong climate signals that would point toward an unusually wet (snowy) or dry month. February 2015 was the all-time coldest month on record at Bangor, and the 4th coldest month (and coldest February) on record at Caribou.

Average temperatures begin to slowly rise in February. The average highs at Caribou climb from 21 degrees on the 1st to 28 degrees by the end of the month. The average lows rise from above on the 1st to 8 degrees at the end of the month. At Bangor, the average highs rise from 28F to 35F, and the average lows rise from 7F to 14F. Average snowfall in February at Caribou (Bangor) is 22.2 inches (14.7 inches). Usable daylight increased by just over 1 hour during the month of February.