Early December Heat Wave Breaks Many Records
December has started off as one of the mildest on record for most of the U.S. east of the Rockies. Many cities broke or tied their all-time December monthly records for warmest day on Monday, December 3rd and at least 500 towns and cities broke at their daily record highs at some point between December 1st and December 5th. Here is a brief recap.
There are too many locations to list so far as daily record highs so I mention below a selection of locations that broke or tied their all-time December monthly heat records. The daily temperature maps for December 3 (top) and December 4 (bottom) show the extraordinary warmth that engulfed most of the lower 48 states earlier this week. There were hardly any locations that fell below freezing, coast-to-coast.
Maps from Weekly Weather Maps, NOAA.ALL-TIME MONTHLY RECORDS SET OR TIED ON DECEMBER 3
Kansas City, Missouri: 74° (tied old record Dec. 5, 2001 and Dec. 6, 1939)
Springfield, Illinois: 74° (tied old record Dec. 28, 1984 and Dec. 3, 1970
Quincy, Illinois: 74° (old record 71° on Dec. 3, 1970 and Dec. 9, 1940)
St. Joseph, Missouri: 72° (tied old record Dec. 6, 1939)
Kirksville, Missouri: 71° (old record 69° on Dec. 11, 1949)
Ottumwa, Iowa: 71° (tied old record Dec. 4, 1998)
Des Moines, Iowa: 69° (tied old record Dec. 28, 1984)
Waterloo, Iowa: 67° (tied old record Dec. 5, 2001)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa: (tied old record Dec. 4, 1998)
Rockford, Illinois: 69° (old record 67 Dec. 5, 2001)
This was also Rockford's second warmest day in "meteorological winter" (Dec-Feb). Warmest was 70° on Feb. 25, 2000.
Urbana, Illinois: 71° (tied old record Dec. 4, 1998)
Lamoni, Iowa: 68° (tied old record Dec. 28, 1984 and 4 other occasions)
Waterloo, Iowa: 67° (tied old record Dec. 5, 2001 and Dec. 4, 1998)
Madison, Wisconsin: 65° (old record 64° Dec. 5, 2001)
Traverse City, Michigan: 64° (tied old record Dec. 3, 1962)
While Chicago O'Hare (70° on Dec. 3rd) did not set a December record high (which is 71° set on, it was only the third 70-degree-plus December day on record there, dating to 1871.ALL-TIME MONTHLY RECORDS SET OR TIED ON DECEMBER 4
Watertown, New York: 69° (old record 68° date unknown)
Syracuse, New York reached 70° just short of their monthly record of 72° set on two previous occasions.
Binghamton, New York reached 64° short by 1° of their monthly record of 65° set on two previous occasions.
Corpus Christi, Texas reached 89° short of their monthly record of 91° set on Dec. 5, 1977.
Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois came very close to breaking their all-time state monthly heat records when Keokuk, Iowa reached 73° on Dec. 3, just short of the 74° set at Thurman on Dec. 6, 1939. Janesville, Wisconsin hit 68° on Dec. 3, short of the 70° state record set at Kenosha and West Allis on Dec. 5, 2001. Lacon, Illinois hit 77° on Dec. 3, short of the 79° measured at Cairo in December 1982Snowless Streak Continues
Des Moines, Iowa has now broken its longest snowless streak on record with 278 consecutive days with no measurable snowfall as of Dec. 5. The previous record was 277 days in 1889. Chicago has now (as of Dec. 5) gone 245 days without measurable snow, approaching the record of 250 such set in 1999. Milwaukee, Wisconsin has gone 277 days without measurable snow, the record is 279 set in 1999.U.S. snow depth maps for the past 3 December 4ths illustrate the snow drought the country is currently observing.
Maps from NOAA.
Christopher C. Burt