How the Cold & Snowy Winter of 2009-2010 Ranks in the Record Books Thus Far

 Temperatures             |             Snowfall

Temperatures...

Meteorological Winter runs from December 1st through the end of February.  Through February 18th, the average temperature at the National Weather Service Office in Jackson this winter has been 31.3ºF.  The coldest winter on record at the station is 33.2 degrees recorded during the winter of 2002-2003.  So, as long as the temperatures for the rest of the month average 42.6 degrees or colder, the winter season of 2009-2010 will go down as the coldest winter on record at Jackson.  

Top 3 Coldest Winters at NWS Jackson

 

Average Temp

Season

1

31.3ºF

2009-2010 (So far)

2

33.2ºF

2002-2003

3

34.4ºF

1981-1982

Now the climate record at NWS Jackson only dates back to 1981.  So, how does this winter rank at a station with a longer climate record?  Well, the climate record at the London Corbin Airport dates back to November 1954.  So far this meteorological winter, the average temperature at London has been 31.4ºF.  This currently places the winter of 2009-2010 only 5th in the record books at London.  This winter will remain as the 5th coldest winter on record at London as long as the temperatures for the remainder of the month average 40.1ºF or colder.

Top 6 Coldest Winters at London

 

Average Temp

Season

1

28.5ºF

1977-1978

2

29.4ºF

1976-1977

3

29.9ºF

1962-1963

4

31.3ºF

1969-1970

5

31.5ºF

2009-2010 (So far)

6

32.5ºF

1978-1979


 

Snowfall...

An active winter weather pattern has dumped large snowfall totals on east Kentucky so far this season, with over a month of winter still to come. As of 5 PM on Wednesday February 17th, 48.4 inches of snow had been measured for the '09 - '10 winter season. At this point, this season is now alone in second, as we have just surpassed the 1993-1994 season where 48.3 inches of snow fell. The number one snowiest season on record at Jackson occurred in 1995-1996, when 62.7 inches of snow was measured! Although the gold medal spot seems like a long shot, keep in mind that one or two more good snowfalls could get this season to the top of the podium.

Click on image to enlarge.

In the graph above, seasonal snowfall totals are in chronological order. Notice that so far this season we have measured 48.4 inches of snowfall. It is also interesting to notice periods of increased and decreased snow activity. For instance, after 10 years of relative lull in large snow totals, the past two season have been more comparable to seasons from the early to mid 90s and the late 80s.

Click on image to enlarge.

The graph above shows expected monthly snowfall totals for the winter season compared to what we have observed to this point in the 2009-2010 winter season. After starting slow this year in November, we have dramatically crushed the average snowfall totals for December through February.

 Below is a graph depicting the maximum observed snow depth at Jackson compared to previous years.

Click on image to enlarge.

 Below is a graph depicting how many days we have had 1 inch of snow or more on the ground compated to previous winters.

Click on image to enlarge.



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