Six More Weeks of Winter? What Winter?

Based on the old wives tale, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow so there will be six more weeks of winter.  Of winter?  What winter?

After a very cold start to December and another brief spell of cold in mid-December, winter vanished across western Kansas.  As of Wednesday, February 1st, there have been 43 days in a row of above average temperatures at Dodge City and western Kansas. This is the second greatest number of consecutive days since 1948...and we’re still counting!

 48    Jul 26, 1983 to Sep 11, 1983  
 43    Dec 21, 2005 to Feb 1, 2006  
 37    Jun 16, 1954 to Jul 22, 1954  
 36    Aug 16, 1998 to Sep 20, 1998  
 28    Jun 23, 1980 to Jul 20, 1980  
 28    Aug 20, 1990 to Sep 16, 1990  
 27    Sep 30, 1963 to Oct 26, 1963  
 26    Nov 18, 1965 to Dec 13, 1965  
 26    Jun 19, 1966 to Jul 14, 1966  
 25    Apr 24, 1977 to May 18, 1977  

This past January will go down as the warmest on record (since 1875) and it smashed the previous record.  The average daily temperature for January was 42.9° or a whopping 12.8° above the 1971-2000 normal of 30.1°!  This January was also the warmest above normal of ANY MONTH!

Click on the graph for a larger version

Warmest Months

In addition, on January 3rd the average temperature for the day was 28.0 degrees above normal which is the 5th highest since 1948.

Greatest Daily Departures

January was also the first month that every single day that daily temperatures were above normal.  No other month (Jan-Dec) since 1948 has had every day with that statistic.  Also the averge daily high and average daily low temperatures were the warmest since 1948.

see the graph for Max temps
see the graph of Min temps

This January was also the 10th in a row with above average temperatures at Dodge City since 1875.  The previous longest stretch was from 1941-1947 (seven January’s in a row).

This January also saw an unusual amount of 50, 60 and 70 degree days.  At Dodge City there were 26 days that the temperature reached at least 50 degrees, 13 times it reached 60 and five times it reached 70.

See the graph for the number of 50 degree days
See the graph for the number of 60 degree days
See the graph for the number of 70 degree days

Another record that was set (since 1948) is the departure from normal for a 31 day period.  The average daily temperature for the period December 21, 2005 through January 20, 2006 was 14.2 degrees above the climatological average for that same period.  This is the highest 31 day total, again since 1948



And finally, this is the 3rd warmest start to
winter since 1875 at Dodge City.  The average daily temperature for this past December and January was 38° which is 6.4 degrees above the 1971-2000 normal.  The warmest start was in 1876 when the average for that same period was 40.0°.

  Average Dec-Jan Temperature
       For Dodge City, KS

Rank   Avg Temp        Year
1 40.0 1876
2 39.0 1934
3 38.0 1939
3 38.0 1989
3 38.0 1992
3 38.0 2006
7 37.0 1878
7 37.0 1914
7 37.0 1958
7 37.0 1981





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