Winter Review at the Halfway Point

Winter of 2006-2007 Midpoint Recap

Warm, Wet, and Nearly Snowless


January 14, 2007 marked day 45 of the official meteorological winter season, which began on December 1 of 2006. With the halfway point upon us, here are some statistics to summarize the winter so far.

TEMPERATURE

With an average temperature of 39.1 degrees so far, the winter of 2006-2007 has the fifth warmest start of any winter on record. The last time a winter started out warmer was the winter of 1931-1932.

Warmest Start to Winter (First 45 days)

 1    45.0  1889-1890
 2    40.9  1931-1932
 3    40.2  1877-1879
 4    39.5  1875-1876
 5    39.1  2006-2007

January 14 marked the 37th consecutive day at Indianapolis with an average temperature above normal. The last day with a temperature below normal was on December 9, 2006.

A moderate El Nino, which has been in progress nearly the entire winter season, has been responsible in large part for this prolonged stretch of warmth.

PRECIPITATION

Through January 14, Indianapolis International Airport has officially recorded 8.54 inches of rainfall. This is the sixth wettest start to any winter season on record. It has only been a few years since we had a wetter start to winter, with the winter of 2004-2005 getting off on a soggier note.

Wettest Start to Winter (First 45 days)

1   11.88 1949-1950     
2.  11.88 1889-1890
3.  11.00 2004-2005
4.  10.88 1929-1930
5.  10.16 1879-1880
6.  8.54   2006-2007

This wet start to winter has brought high water conditions to area rivers and streams for most of the season. A very active subtropical jet stream this winter has helped to fuel repeated heavy rain events in central Indiana.

SNOWFALL

Also very notable this season is the lack of snow. With only  0.9 inches recorded so far, this is the second least snowiest start to any winter season. The last time winter began with less snowfall than this year was in the winter of 1970-1971.

Least Snowy Starts to Winter (First 45 Days)

1.      0.4 1970-1971

2.      0.9 2006-2007

3.      1.1 1972-1973

4.      1.3 1987-1988

5.      1.3 1979-1980

6.      1.3 1964-1965

7.      1.3 1949-1950

The lack of snow this year can be directly tied to the lack of cold air. The persistent wet pattern of this winter would have produced several measurable snowfalls if the temperatures had been closer to normal. But the lack of temperatures even close to freezing has kept everything in liquid form in central Indiana this winter.

CHANGES ON THE WAY

Drier and Colder air is on the way this week, and is expected to bring a period of prolonged near to below normal temperatures for Indianapolis. At this time, a significant amount of snow does not appear likely for the next week.

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Data Prepared by Logan Johnson, Climate Services Focal Point

w-ind.webmaster@noaa.gov

 



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