Spring 2012

Summer is approaching. Did you do any spring cleaning? Were you sweating more than usual? If so, it is not in your mind that spring was hot. It was the warmest on record. Yes, warmest spring on record. It was warm from South to North and coast to coast.

Why was spring so warm? It was due to La Nina, which keeps the jet stream further north than usual. Also, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) were mostly positive, which also kept the jet stream further north. If AO and NAO were negative, than it would allow the jet stream to go further south and bring the cold Arctic air with it.

Here is a 500 millibar geopotential height anomaly map of Northern Hemisphere and America. It shows ridging throughout America. It is centered in the Great Lakes Region, which had their warmest spring on record. The persistent ridging in the upper atmosphere explains why it was so warm. The area over the Pacific Northwest shows a persist trough at the upper level.

So how does Spring 2012 compare to other springs? Let’s look at top 5 warmest spring. It is based on records from 1895 to 2012.

USA
1.) 2012 57.07°F
2.) 1910 55.07°F
3.) 2004 54.96°F
4.) 2000 54.88°F
5.) 1934 54.60°F

It is not a joke that the spring Halley’s Comet paid a visit is a distant second. Most records are set less than 1°F. Spring 2012 temperature for America is a full 2°F above the previous warmest spring since records were kept in 1895.

Texas
1.) 2012 69.60°F
2.) 2006 69.17°F
3.) 2011 68.53°F
4.) 1967 68.43°F
5.) 1925 68.33°F

Even Texas could not escape the warm spring that plagued America. However, the difference between 2012 and 2006 is by 0.43°F. Not much of a difference.

Upper Texas Coast
1.) 2012 73.13°F
2.) 1908 72.37°F
3.) 1967 72.20°F
4.) 1963 72.17°F
5.) 2006 72.03°F

Upper Texas Coast also experienced warm spring. The last time Upper Texas Coast saw its warmest spring was in 1908! The difference between 2012 and 1908 is 0.76°F, which is almost 1°F.

Spring rainfall varied from wet to dry. Oregon had their wettest spring on record. Also, only the Pacific Northwest had near normal temperatures, while the rest of America was baking. That is due to the persistent trough over the Pacific Northwest.

USA 2012 Spring Precipitation
2012 Spring = 7.47
Mean = 7.70
Median = 7.58
Standard Deviation = 0.95
Driest = 5.31 (1925)
Wettest = 10.14 (1973)

Spring 2012 was within normal in the rainfall department. It was the 68th wettest Spring for America. Unfortunately, the drought is spreading throughout America.

Texas 2012 Spring Precipitation
2012 Spring = 7.35
Mean = 7.61
Median = 7.37
Standard Deviation = 2.31
Driest = 2.66 (2011)
Wettest = 15.46 (1957)

Spring 2012 was within normal rainfall amount in Texas. Quite a far cry from 2011, which was the driest spring on record. It was the start of the devastating drought of 2011. Good to see more rain in Texas.

Upper Texas Coast 2012 Spring Precipitation
2012 Spring = 12.74
Mean = 10.68
Median = 10.27
Standard Deviation = 4.48
Driest = 2.50 (2011)
Wettest = 22.26 (1997)

Spring 2011 was within normal amount in Upper Texas Coast. Quite a far contrast from 2011 again. 2011 was the driest spring for Upper Texas Coast as well. Always nice to see rain falling to put an end to this nasty drought.

Summer came with a Venus transit on June 5, 2012, which we will not see until December 10-11, 2117. If anyone saw that, it would be a nice Christmas gift from Santa Claus. Ho! Ho! Ho! Speaking of that, it is 105 years from now! I do not think anyone who saw the event will be alive by than. Hopefully our future ancestors will see the next Venus transit.

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