December 2012 Climate Summaries for La Crosse WI and Rochester MN

...Above Normal Temperatures and Precipitation During December at La Crosse Wisconsin...

The average temperature for December at the La Crosse Municipal Airport was 26.0 degrees, which was 4.4 degrees above normal. The average high was 33.4 degrees, while the average low temperature was 18.5 degrees. The highest temperature during the month was 64 degrees, which occurred on the 3rd. The lowest reading occurred was -2 and occurred on the 31st.

La Crosse received 1.98" of liquid precipitation during the month of December which was 0.62" above normal. The greatest 24-hour precipitation amount was 0.61" which occurred on the 20th. There were 12 days of measurable precipitation, and 5 days where a trace was reported. Snowfall for the month totaled 18.3", which was 7.0" above normal. The greatest 24-hour snowfall was 6.7", which occurred on the 9th, meanwhile the greatest snow depth was 7", from the 29th-31st.

...Records...

On the 3rd, the high temperature of 64 degrees broke the previous record high of 61 degrees set in 1961.

On the 20th, a total of 0.61" of liquid precipitation was recorded, which broke the previous daily record of 0.49" set in 1902.

...Discussion...

The first week of December featured much above normal temperatures and dry conditions, thanks in part to a persisent ridge of high pressure. However, a change in the weather pattern in the second week of the month allowed the first major winter storm to move through the Upper Midwest on the 9th. Temperatures in the wake of the storm system remained mild, as Arctic air stayed north. By the middle of the month, another storm system approached from the southwest, bringing warmer air and widespread rains to the region, which melted any remaining snowpack. The big story for the month of December was the potent winter storm on the 20th, bringing widespread winter storm and near-blizzard conditions to the area. Much colder air invaded the region in the wake, persisting until the end of the month. A few weak disturbances then moved through Upper Midwest, adding another 4 to 5" of snow on the 28-29th. True Arctic air surged into the area to round out December 2012, bringing bitter cold conditions for New Year's Eve.

...Looking Ahead to January...

The average temperature for January is 17.4 degrees. The average high temperature is 25.9 degrees and the average low temperature is 8.9 degrees. The average number of days where the high temperature is below 32 degrees is 20 and typically there are 9 days of below zero temperatures. The coldest temperature in January is -43 degrees back on January 18, 1873, while the warmest temperature was 57 degrees on January 1, 1897 and January 3, 1874. The average liquid precipitation is 1.12" and the average snowfall totals 10.7".

 


...Above Normal Temperatures and Precipitation During December at Rochester Minnesota...

The average temperature for December at the Rochester International Airport was 24.0 degrees, which was 4.3 degrees above normal. The average high was 31.6 degrees, while the average low temperature was 16.4 degrees. The highest temperature during the month was 62 degrees, which occurred on the 3rd. The lowest reading occurred on the 31st, and was -3 degrees.

Rochester received 1.79" of liquid precipitation during the month of December. This was 0.56" above normal. Total snowfall was 14.4", which was 1.9" inches above normal. There were 11 days of measurable precipitation, and 8 days where a trace was reported. 

...Records...

On the 3rd, the high temperature of 62 degrees broke the previous record high of 59 degrees set in 1962.

On the 9th, a total of 0.35" of liquid precipitation was recorded, which broke the previous daily record of 0.31" set in 2009.

On the 15th, the low temperature of 37 degrees broke the previous warmest low record of 35 degrees, set in 1928.

...Discussion...

The first few weeks of December in Rochester featured above normal temperatures with no true Arctic air intrusions. A couple storm systems brought the first significant snow on the 9th-10th, recording around 4". Milder air and another storm system brought widespread rains to much of the area, melting any remaining snowpack. The big story for the month of December was the potent winter storm on the 20th, bringing widespread winter storm and near-blizzard conditions to the area, impacting travel, schools and business. Much colder air invaded the region in the wake, persisting until the end of the month. A few weak disturbances then moved through Upper Midwest, adding 2 to 4" of snow on the 28-29th. True Arctic air surged into the area to round out December 2012, and brought bitter cold conditions for New Year's Eve.

...Looking Ahead to January...

The average temperature for the month of January is 15.7 degrees, with an average high of 23.6 and average low of 7.7 degrees. The average number of days where the high temperature is below 32 degrees is 22 and typically there are 9 days of below zero temperatures. The coldest temperature in January is -42 degrees back on January 7, 1887, while the warmest temperature was 58 degrees on January 25, 1944. The average liquid precipitation is 0.86" and the average snowfall totals 12.0".

 

 

 

 



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