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A record breaker! It really WAS that cold this past winter.
Submitted by Tim Buckley on Thu, 03/03/2011 - 10:10am.
Well I guess it justifies our whining a little bit! The numbers are in for the winter season, and they're impressive. A record breaker here in the city of Wilmington. With records dating back all the day to the 1870's, the 2010-2011 winter will go down as the coldest in history!
Looking at the numbers, you can see we barely pulled it out - beating the winter of '76-'77 by 0.1 of a degree. A close call, but it still counts all the same. The coldest months of course were December and January - some of the coldest we've ever seen here. February warmed up to some tolerable levels, and in fact finished a degree above normal for the month.
Now if you're sitting back looking at your calendar on the wall saying, "Tim! It's still winter until March 20th! I thought you had a degree in meteorology?" You have a valid point. It IS still winter until the vernal equinox, which occurs this year on the 20th. However, us meteorologist types have a funny way of keeping records.
You see, we have what is called "Meteorological Winter." This is simply the 3-month period of Decemeber, January, and February which is a better representation of the coldest weather of the year. We use this period for data keeping purposes, and it works out pretty well. After all, isn't early December much more like winter than mid March? We think so too.
In the same way, you'll find data for March/April/May data used for Meteorological Spring, June/July/August data used for Meteorological Summer, and September/October/November data used for Meteorological Fall. That's just the way we work!
As much as it may have pained us for the weather to be persistently cold with those mornings in the 20's and afternoons in the 40's, doesn't it may it a little better knowing we at least set a record?
I think it does!
Here's to a nice warm Spring!
By: Tim Buckley