December 2015 Weather Roundup and Jan 2016 Outlook
Dec 31, 2015
December 2015 is just about in the record books and in many areas it set some records. Global temperatures were clearly dominated by a top 2 strongest El Niño in 100 years with a very strong sub-tropical Jet Stream steering storms through the Central U.S. and then out into the open Atlantic Ocean and ultimately toward the U.K. CLICK ON MAPS FOR LARGER VIEW
Both the Eastern half of the North America and most of Europe were dominated by the influences of the El Niño Jet Stream. The cold spots relative to this time of year were Greenland, Central Africa, The Middle East and Northeast Siberia.
U.S. December temperature trends were record shattering in the Eastern half of North America with many areas breaking the records set back in the early 1930s. LARGE MAP VIEW
Precipitation was again excessive in the Central U.S. and across Europe with flooding. Notice the much above average rainfall in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean - that's El Niño! LARGE MAP
A closer look at the U.S. shows the soggy Heart Land. The pattern was showing signs of change at the end of December with a storm track more likely to bring the heaver rain to Southern California and along the Deep South into Florida in January. LARGE MAP
The rainfall totals for November and December were very impressive with 16-20" amounts from East Texas to Southeast Illinois and throughout the Southeast U.S. LARGE MAP
Summing it all up the charts below show temperatures were nearly off the chart. Precipitation was also off the chart trending at least the wettest in 25 years and very possibly a record 120 year event. Snowfall was again well below average for the 2nd year in a row trending a tad more than last year but 42% below an average year. The heaviest snow was clearly in the Western half of the U.S. into the Central states while the Northeast had the least snow in over 25 years with many areas setting record late dates for the first measurable snow. The positive to the warmth is a much lower heating bill for folks in the East, potentially 30% to 40% less than last year. LARGE CHART
A quick glance at Ocean temperatures around the world still shows the very strong El Niño. It has peaked and now beginning to weaken but it will remain in the strong category through the rest of Winter and moderate by early Spring. LARGE MAP
When compared to last year we can see why the Pacific Northwest has been so much wetter this year and the East so much warmer as a couple major oceanic indices are trending much colder than this time last year. Both PDO and EPO are much cooler than last year as are the ocean temps off California. The extremely warm water off the East Coast are trending 7-10 degrees warmer than last year in part why the Northeast is so warm. LARGE MAP
A quick peek at January shows the temperatures to start will actually be much warmer than the past few years which started off very cold with last year the 2nd coldest in decades for the U.S. as a whole. Overall the front half will trend the warmest in 4 years, slightly above average U.S. temperatures with a continuation of the wet trends. The wet will shift a bit further south as the Central U.S. dries out a bit but the U.S. is still the wettest in 9 years with a snowier start - snowiest in 5 years. The heart of Winter will be the latter half of January into early February and that may actually be the extent of Winter before milder weather returns. The back half overall looks to trend a tad below average, wettest in 4 years with near average snowfall. We are concerned about a bigger ice storm in the Northeast. LARGE CHART VIEW
Have a great last day of 2015 folks and Happy 2016! - Capt Kirk out.
To see how your 2016 will start visit http://www.weathertrends360.com/Dashboard