From a meteorological standpoint, winter is over, having ended yesterday. So, how did we do?
Here are the average temperatures, month by month, along with normals:
December: 40.7 46.8 6.1 degrees below normal
January: 48.3 42.7 7.6 degrees above normal
February: 44.3 46.8 2.5 degrees below normal
Winter: 44.4 45.4 1.0 degree below normal
So, we ended up, in the means, about a degree below normal for the winter, although we saw wild swings in the monthly temperatures.
When you take a look back at the early forecasts for winter, it looks like everybody got it right as far as temperatures go, except for the Weather Service, which issued a forecast of equal chances of above or below normal. Kudos go to the Farmer’s Almanac, which predicted the great swings from cold to warm, and then back again.
In the snowfall department, where we really didn’t see anything that caused any major problems at all, Kirk Melhuish got it spot on, with WeatherAmerica and AccuWeather widely missing the mark.
Overall, I would give the best grades to Kirk Melhuish, who was right on both temperature and precipitation.
Speaking of forecasts, I caught Joe Bastardi of Accuweather on Fox News over the weekend, talking about the upcoming hurricane season. While we’re about a month away from the official forecasts, he warned that based on similar patterns in the past, we’re likely to see another active season in 2006, with a probability of hurricanes striking the Atlantic coast, perhaps as far north as the New York area.
Shorter term, we may end up with a more or less normal March. The weather service is calling for equal chances of above or below normal temperatures and precipitation in Georgia for March. Warm weather is expected in Texas, and colder than normal weather is predicted in California. If the Climate Predication Center is right, it will also be rainy in California, and dry in Texas and Florida.
Texas is already feeling the heat, with highs around 90 today. Lawrenceville reached its high so far for the year, with 74.4 degrees. (The normal is 60 degrees). But, it won’t last: after another above normal temperature day tomorrow, it will be cooling down to normal temperatures, although, it’s likely to stay dry for a while, adding to a rainfall deficit for the year.