2007-2008 Winter Summary

Winter 2007-2008 in Review
Warmer and Wetter Than Normal
 
With March 1 comes the end of meteorological winter, a period defined as covering the months of December through February. The winter of 2007-2008 in Central Indiana was marked by a continued period of variability. Weather patterns were rarely in place for more than just a few days at a time, with highs in the 60s one day and in the 20s the next.  
 
When it was all said and done, the winter of 2007-2008 actually ended up being warmer than normal. Precipitation was also above normal, which helped to ease the drought conditions that had been present from last year’s extended dry weather.
 
The following is a review of weather conditions experienced in Central Indiana during the winter season of 2007-2008.
 
DECEMBER
 
December 2007 set the tone with temperatures up and down throughout the entire month. Some very cool weather started off the month, as highs struggled into the low 30s in the first few days of the month. However, temperatures quickly soared back into the 50s and 60s during mid month, and then ended out on a very warm note as the final 14 days were warmer than normal. It was a rather snowy month, and the biggest events came on the 5th, with 3.1 inches of snow, and then a two day total of 5.1 inches on the 15th and 16th of the month. The snow total on the 5th was a daily record.  The monthly snowfall total was 10.8 inches, which was above normal by 4.4 inches. The final 14 days of the month only experienced 0.3 inches of snow, with an extended warm spell keeping precipitation in the liquid form. Precipitation was in abundance during the month, which finished with more than five and a half inches falling. This was the second year in a row where December saw more than five inches of precipitation.
 
 
Average Temperature
Total Precipitation
Total Snowfall
Highs below freezing
December 2007
34.1
5.55
10.8
3
Normal December
31.6
3.03
6.4
7
2007 Difference from Normal
+2.5
+2.52
+4.4
-4
 
December 2007 All-Time Ranks:
Temperature: Tie- 53rd warmest December
Precipitation: 9th wettest December
Snowfall: Tie – 15th snowiest
 
 
 
JANUARY
 
January 2008 was a month full of its ups and downs. After a few cold days to start out the month, where highs only reached 14 degrees on the 2nd, the next few days were anything but cold. Temperatures climbed well above normal quickly, and highs nearly reached 70 degrees on the 7th. The daily record high was broken on that day, when the mercury climbed to 68 degrees. Perhaps even more remarkable on that day was the fact that the low temperature only fell to 61 degrees overnight. This marked the first time since records have been kept that the low temperature in January failed to drop below 60 degrees. The average temperature for the day was 65 degrees, a value which is above normal by 38 degrees. For comparison’s sake, 65 degrees is the normal daily average temperature for May 22nd. This extreme January warmth was followed by very heavy rainfall on the 8th, with 1.41 inches measured at Indianapolis. Some cooler weather returned for the second half of the month, with the coldest day of the month coming on the 20th, as the high temperature only reached 17 degrees, with a low of 0 degrees that night. A few more nights of very cold weather followed, and in fact during the 19th through the 25th saw no overnight low warmer than 10 degrees. Despite the heavy rain early in the month, it was below normal for precipitation. Snow was also below normal, as the combination of warmer and drier than normal is not conducive to snow. The greatest daily snowfall was only 1.1 inches on the 22nd.
 
 
Average Temperature
Total Precipitation
Total Snowfall
Highs below freezing
January 2008
28.7
2.14
4.8
           14
Normal January
26.5
2.48
9.3
12
2008 Difference from normal
+2.2
-0.34
-4.5
-2
 
All-time Ranks
Temperature: Tied 64th warmest
Precipitation: 61st driest
Snowfall: Tied 58th least snowiest
 
FEBRUARY
 
February 2008 continued on the wild ride of extreme variation in daily weather conditions that began in January. Temperatures started out very warm at the month’s beginning, with the 4th reaching 64 degrees, then followed by 65 degrees on the 5th. This was short lived, as two days later the high was only 33 degrees. Colder weather arrived by mid month, and the 11th saw a high of only 20 degrees with a low of 6 degrees. Temperatures then stayed generally colder than normal to close the month. The 21st was another cold day, with a high of 23 and a low of 10 degrees. Despite the cold snaps, the warm weather at the start of the month was simply too much to be overcome, and the month closed out only below normal by a few degrees. The month was also a very wet one, with over four inches of precipitation. Much of it came on the 5th of the month, when 1.83 inches fell as strong and severe storms raked Central Indiana when winds over 80 mph caused significant damage to the area. Snow was below normal again in February. Only 5.4 inches fell, and the greatest one day total for the month was just 1.3 inches on the 20th.   
 
 
Average Temperature
Total Precipitation
Total Snowfall
Highs below freezing
February 2008
29.8
4.34
5.4
8
Normal February
31.2
2.41
6.1
7
2008 Difference from Normal
-1.4
+1.93
-0.7
+1
 
February 2007 All-Time Ranks:
Temperature: Tied 48th Lowest
Precipitation: 16th wettest
Snowfall: 41st Snowiest
 
 
WINTER SEASON SUMMARY
 
 
Average Temperature
Total Precipitation
Total Snowfall
Highs below Freezing
Lows Below Zero
Winter 2007-2008
30.8
12.03
21.0
25
0
Normal Winter
29.8
7.92
21.8
27
6
2007-2008
Difference from Normal
+1.0
+4.11
-0.8
-2
-6
 
Winter 2007-2008 All-Time Ranks
Temperature: Tied 69th Warmest
Precipitation: 13th Wettest
Snowfall: 38th snowiest
 
The winter of 2007-2008 will look like a rather uneventful winter strictly based on seasonal averages. It could be simply characterized as a warm and wet winter season, with normal amounts of snowfall. However, this would not capture the extremes that occurred during this volatile winter season. It is a tremendous example of how a warmer than normal winter can feel anything but warm at times. The next time that you see a forecast for warmer than normal winter, keep in mind that every winter can and will be brutally cold at times. This winter season was strongly influenced by the ongoing La Nina pattern in the Pacific Ocean. La Nina is notorious for nearly unpredictable extremes, and this year surely fell into that category.  


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