Sunday, March 13, 2016

Winter 2015-2016 Climate Summary for Northern & Eastern Maine

...Seasonal climate narrative for northern and eastern Maine...

Meteorological winter (December 1st through February 29th) of
2015/16 will be remembered for finishing well above average for
temperature...A little above average for precipitation and
significantly below average for snowfall and snow depth.

The three month mean temperature averaged 4 to 8 degrees above
average across the region...making winter of 2015/16 the warmest of
record at both Caribou and Houlton...with the averages of 21.6 and
22.7 breaking the prior records of 21.0 and 21.8 degrees
respectively...both recently set in the winter of 2009/10 (based on
the ranking of warmest winters with no missing days). At Bangor...
the average of 27.2 degrees finished 2nd only to the winter of
1936/37 which averaged at 29.4 degrees. Warmest temperatures each
Month were well in the 40s to lower to mid 50s.

Total precipitation (rain and melted snow/sleet) for this winter was
above average for the region as a whole...ranging from 110 to 130
percent of normal. Well above average temperatures...however...
resulted in more than the normal number of rain and mixed
precipitation events...resulting in a reduction of snowfall for the
season. In fact...more than one significant to heavy rain event
occurred across the region each month this winter. This resulted in
the region only receiving about 60 to 80 percent of average snowfall
For the meteorological winter portion of the cold season. At
Caribou...The 55.9 inch total for the period was the 17th least
snowiest meteorological winter of record...while the total of 36.1
inches at Bangor ranked approximately as 8th least snowiest.

There were a total of 13 days with a high temperature over 40
degrees at Caribou...Which tied with the winter of 1980-1981 for the
most on record for a winter season. There were 36 days with a high
above freezing...which was a record surpassing the 35 days above
freezing during the winter of 1953-1954.

At Bangor...there were a total of 34 days with a high temperature
over 40 degrees...which was the most on record.  There was an
amazing 61 days with a high above freezing...the most on record
surpassing the 58 days that were observed in the winter of 1998-

There were only 11 nights with a low temperature below zero at
Caribou...which was the fewest on record.  At Bangor...there were
only 6 nights with a low below zero...Which although not a record
was well below the long term average of 16.

Lastly...snowpack this season was only 50 percent of average...
sometimes starting from scratch over central and downeast portions
of the region after heavy rain and thawing temperature events washed
out prior snow pack. This negatively impacted winter recreational
activities across the region...such as skiing and snow mobiling.
Among the winters with no missing snow depth days...The 6.6 inch
average snow depth at caribou was the 11th lowest and the 2.9 inch
average at bangor was tied as 8th lowest.