George Isobar gives weather wrap-up for 2008 1.7.09

Written by David Green.

George Isobar, local weather observer, presents his 2008 All-Star review.

Wet and warm.

Sure, there was plenty of variation, Isobar said, but precipitation ended about 5 inches more than the average of the past 30 years and there were more months with above-average temperatures than those finishing below.

“It might be hard to remember after the chilly October, November and December, but it was rather mild in the first few months of the year. Each of the summer months and right through September were all on the high side.”

Both the World Meteorological Organization and the National Climatic Data Center place 2008 as the 10th warmest year since land and water temperatures were consistently recorded in the 1800s.

“The local variations can fool you,” Isobar said. “We had a chilly November here, but globally it was the fourth warmest on record.”

Locally, he said, 2008 brought a few more summer storms with wind damage than the previous couple of years, but still nothing very severe.

Hottest Day: The hottest day generally comes along in the heat of the summer. This year, the high of 96° fell Sept. 3. In 2007, 21 days in the 90s; last year back to a more typical six.

Only one daily temperature record was broken last year, according to data from Toledo, and that occurred quite recently. The temperature reached 65° Dec. 27, breaking the previous high of 60° from 1971.

Coldest Day: Two winter months ended up colder than the average (February and December) and the coldest day was the -4° reading Dec. 22. There were only a pair of below-zero days last year.

Wettest Month: July finished with 7.71 inches—more than four inches above average The total for the year was more than four inches above the 34-year average.

Wettest Day: A September downpour of 2.49 inches was nothing to scoff at, but that was washed out of the running by the July 2nd and 3rd storm that dumped 4.77 inches.

Driest Month: Five months finished below average and four of those were more than an inch under average. August takes the prize with a paltry .91, almost a quarter of the average.

Snowiest Day: A 6.8-inch snowfall came March 21st and 22nd, along with a 6.5 and 4.4 snow. For the year, 56.6 inches was measured—not bad for winter in this area these days.

Earliest Measurable Snowfall: Nothing too early last year. The first flakes fell Oct. 28; the first measurable snow followed Nov. 18.

Slickest Month: We had some glaze on two days in February, but remember last month? There were four days in December with fereezing rain, plus the melting snow that later froze and turned the entire area into a skating rink.

Loudest Month: Here’s an odd one: 14 thunderstorms in June. Three of those storms came with damaging winds and hail fell twice—including the unusual downpour of hail that lasted about 15 minutes and turned the ground white.

Most Variable Day: May 29 started off with a chilly 39 and warmed up to 74 for a difference of 35°. Disappointing, Isobar said. He was looking for one of those steamy summer days that drop from 95 to 50 when a cold front thunders through.

Least Variable Day: Cloudy, a little snow, and not much more. On Nov. 10, the high was 34° and the low 30°.

Most Abnormal Days: The National Weather Service office lists the departures from normal for every day of the year.

Last January, there were nine days in a row when the average for the day was in the double-digits above normal. On Jan. 7, the biggest difference of the year occurred: 36° above average. The high for the day was 64° and the low only dropped to 51°. Rather balmy for January.

On the chilly side, the high for the day was 9° on Dec. 22 and the low was -4°. Pretty chilly even for December for this part of the country. For the day, the average was 22° below normal.

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