WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Now that we're officially into spring, we can look back at the winter season. Of course, it was really more of a winter that wasn't.
It was technically still winter, but throughout the cooler months we kept waiting for the winter wallop that never came. Instead, it was warm, dry and way different than last year.
Last year's winter stacked up as the coldest on record here in the Cape Fear region and delivered more than a couple of snowstorms.
What a difference a year makes!
Yes, it's been warm, but this year might not have been just as warm as you thought.
Looking month by month, each month featured high temperatures that averaged in the 60s instead of the 50s, which is well above average around here. Overall, it was the eighth warmest winter in terms of high temperatures. But if you really look at the whole picture and take low temperatures into account, too, we find that the winter was the 20th warmest on record in Wilmington.
Twentieth warmest out of 138 years still isn't bad, but it's not close to the warmest winter on record around these parts. In fact, maybe more impressive than our temperatures would be the precipitation -- or lack thereof. Unfortunately, the winter ranked as the third driest in history which could spell problems moving forward.
Remember last year's drought? It was a bad one, with about a quarter of the year's rainfall never showing up. Now add onto that the strain of the third driest winter and a 2012 that has gotten off to a dry start, and we're setting the stage for what could be a very dangerous fire season heading into the spring and summer months.
Wrapping up the season, here are a couple things that really stand out:
-Only 18 mornings were below freezing, compared to a whopping 53 from last year!
-Even though one morning saw a few flurries, it was the first winter without measurable snow in four years!
-Maybe the most surprising fact is even with all the warmth we saw, there was never a single day during the winter that set a record high.
In the end, it was a consistently warm winter with cold that never came right after a winter that seemed like it was cold the whole time. The perfect scenario to make it seem like one of the warmest winters ever.