Farewell Winter 2011-2012

Winter 2011-2012 has passed into memory lane. Meteorological winter is defined by NOAA as being from December to February. Now, we are heading into spring, which is the start of the severe weather season. It started early with tornado outbreaks that claimed a total of at least 53 lives in the Midwest and South.

Here is the temperature and precipitation outcome. It is based on 1895 to 2012.

Upper Texas Coast 2011-2012 Winter Temperature
2012 Winter = 57.7°F
Mean = 55.1°F
Median = 55.19°F
Standard Deviation = 2.63
Coolest = 48.90°F (1977-1978)
Warmest = 60.93°F (1949-1950)

If you thought this winter was warm, you are right. It has been warm, 19th warmest winter on record. A far cry from last winter and the previous winter. Winter of 2009-2010 is one of the coldest winters on record, while 2010-2011 was cold due to freezes in February. Winter temperature for the Upper Texas Coast in Winter 2012 was warmer than normal.

Upper Texas Coast 2011-2012 Winter Precipitation
2012 Winter = 13.90
Mean = 10.71
Median = 10.19
Standard Deviation = 3.46
Driest = 2.84 (2008-2009)
Wettest = 23.72 (1991-1992)

Winter precipitation for the Upper Texas Coast is above average, but within the norms. Anything above the standard deviation would be abnormal, which would be 14.17 inches or less in Winter. On the flip side, there have been improvements made in ending the drought, but the drought still persists. Also, Winter of 2011-2012 is the 19th wettest winter on record.

Texas 2011-2012 Winter Temperature
2012 Winter = 49.07°F
Mean = 47.96°F
Median = 47.91°F
Standard Deviation = 2.29
Coolest = 42.45°F (1894-1895)
Warmest = 53.13°F (1906-1907)

It was just as warm in the state of Texas, but not abnormally warm. It was the 36th warmest winter on record.

Texas 2011-2012 Winter Precipitation
2012 Winter = 7.39
Mean = 5.10
Median = 4.95
Standard Deviation = 1.91
Driest = 1.56 (2008-2009)
Wettest = 13.23 (1991-1992)

Texas had an abnormally wet winter and that is a good thing for one. Texas is plagued by the severe drought and the winter rains really help. Texas had the 14th wettest winter on record. Not bad despite a La Nina winter and I am very pleased about it.

America 2011-2012 Winter Temperature
2012 Winter = 36.8°F
Mean = 33.00°F
Median = 33.22°F
Standard Deviation = 2.00
Coolest = 27.29°F (1978-1979)
Warmest = 37.17°F (1999-2000)

America too was basking in this warm winter. In fact, winter in America was abnormally warm, that is the 4th warmest winter on record. Only the winter of 1999-2000, 1998-1999, and 1991-1992 were warmer. No wonder why we had little snow this past winter. This is quite a far cry from last and previous winter, which was cold, especially 2009-2010. The warm winter was due largely to a positive Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation. Also, it was La Nina, which means warmer winter.

America 2011-2012 Winter Precipitation
2012 Winter = 5.70
Mean = 6.43
Median = 6.38
Standard Deviation = 0.88
Driest = 4.08 (1976-1977)
Wettest = 8.68 (1997-1998)

The warm winter also means a drier winter. The winter was dry, but not abnormally dry. America had its 21st driest winter on record. The dry winter is concerning for me as the drought is increasing throughout America. An expanding drought in America could lead to higher food prices for everyone. No one wants that for sure. If there is light at the end of the tunnel, La Nina is dying and heading into Neutral and possibly El Nino. If that is the case, we could see rain returning, which would reduce the drought.

Overall, winter of 2011-2012 was warmer than normal. In regards to rain, the further south was wetter, while north and west was drier. The warm winter is likely more conducive for an active severe weather season in spring. The Gulf of Mexico is warmer than normal in winter.


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