Sunday, May 25, 2014

Winter Weather Summary, 2013-2014

Back on February 13, I showed temperature data for the heating season and winter that showed a colder-than-average trend through that date.  Now that the heating season is most likely behind us, we can look at the data for the full season.  The first chart shows the full winter from December 21 through March 20 and even though the last couple of weeks averaged less than one degree F colder than normal per day, the consistently colder stretch from February 22 through March 6 pushed the cumulative deviation to a total of 532 degrees colder than average.

That means each day of winter averaged 5.9 degrees colder than normal.  February takes the prize for the coldest month with an average daily mean 10 degrees colder than normal.  Anyone suspecting that this winter was colder than normal can rest assured that their suspicions are confirmed by the data.

If we look at the entire heating season, we see a similar trend in that even though the average temperatures warmed a bit in April, the average over the entire season was still over 4 degrees colder than normal.  The cumulative deviation from normal ended the month of April 533 degrees colder than average which means the days between the end of spring and the end of April averaged out to be about equivalent to the historical average.

The effects of winter are still apparent in several places: yew branches that were frozen beyond recovery, rose bushes that didn't survive, and although the almond bush bloomed a couple weeks ago, many of those branches now appear to be dead.  We're happy to concentrate on growing-degree days now, and are hopeful for some harvest from those plants that survived the winter of 2013-2014.

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