2012-2013 Winter Report Progress Report


Meteorological Winter of 2012-2013 has passed into memory lane. Time flies fast as Christmas felt like yesterday and it is almost Easter. So, how did Winter 2012-2013 stack up?

Temperature: 34.36°F
Rainfall: 7.10

1895-2013 Winter Statistics
Winter Temperature Mean: 33.01°F
Standard Deviation: 1.99

Winter Rainfall Mean: 6.43
Standard Deviation: 0.88

America had the 24th warmest winter on record. Quite warm if you think about it. This winter was cooler as last winter. 2011-2012 Winter was the 5th warmest winter on record. A winter without much snowfall, which gave way to drought and warm year in 2012.

If there is a consolation prize for this winter, it was a wetter than normal winter on top of more snow. America had the 22nd wettest winter on record. That is an improvement from last winter, which had the 24th driest winter on record. It is rain that is needed to put a dent on the drought.

Temperature: 50.07°F
Rainfall: 4.93

1895-2013 Winter Statistics
Winter Temperature Mean: 47.97°F
Standard Deviation: 2.29

Winter Rainfall Mean: 5.10
Standard Deviation: 1.90

Texas had quite a warm winter as it was above the standard deviation. Texas had the 18th warmest winter on record, which puts it in the top 20 warmest winter from 1895 to 2013. The previous winter had the 35th warmest winter on record. 2011-2012 winter was cooler than the winter of 2012-2013.

Texas had the 55th wettest winter on record. Last winter, Texas had the 10th wettest winter on record. Quite a stark contrast if you think about it. A wet winter gives a cooler winter as there are cloud cover and moisture in the air that moderates the temperature. The rainfall amount is within the normal range as it is within standard deviation. Texas could use more rain to put an end to the drought plaguing Texas.

Upper Texas Coast
Temperature: 58.07°F
Rainfall: 11.45

1895-2013 Winter Statistics
Winter Temperature Mean: 55.12°F
Standard Deviation: 2.63

Winter Rainfall Mean: 10.72
Standard Deviation: 3.46

Upper Texas Coast had the 16th warmest winter on record. It was warm even by Southeast Texas standard, even though they have mild winters. Last winter, the Upper Texas Coast had the 18th warmest winter on record. Another warm winter for the record book and back to back, like in 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. The Ghost of Winter Past did not want to leave the Upper Texas Coast.

The Upper Texas Coast had the 42nd wettest winter on record. Last winter, Upper Texas Coast had the 14th wettest winter on record, which occurred in a La Nina winter. Upper Texas Coast is drier than last year. However, in terms of rainfall, Upper Texas Coast had a normal rainfall as it is within the standard deviation. It is still concerning as there has not been a lot of rain lately as Upper Texas Coast is seeing droughts developing.


So, how did my winter forecast hold up? It held up for the most part. East of the Continental Divide had warmer than normal winters, while west of the Continental Divide and Hawaii were cooler. However, Alaska, Western Canada, and Northeastern Canada was warmer than normal. The analog winters of 1951-1952, 1963-1964, and 2001-2002 have Alaska, Western Canada, and Northeastern Canada cooler than normal. In terms of rainfall, it was much wetter in the Midwest, Great Lakes, Southern Alaska, and Western Canada than in the analog winters. It was much drier in the West Coast and Southeast.


How was the upper level atmosphere like? For the most part it came close. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) was positive as there is a upper level high pressure over Greenland. There is also upper level ridging over Northwest Africa. On the other hand, there were strong upper level trough over Russia and Central Europe.

I think my winter forecast held up well. I would give myself a A- as there are rooms for improvements. I base analogs on Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The reason I use PDO and AMO is that they are long term and change about every decade or so. ENSO changes every year, so one year could be La Nina, while the other year is El Nino. El Nino and La Nina have an impact on winter weather.

1951-1952, 1963-1964, and 2001-2002 had cool PDO, warm AMO, and neutral ENSO, which 2013 had. As for spring analogs, I am going to use the same analog winters, which are 1952, 1964, and 2002.


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