Isobar's weather review 2013.02.06

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

What do you remember most about January's weather—all those days in the 50s or all those days in the single digits? Or both of them—the way it changed from warm to cold to warm to cold?

"There's nothing unusual about a January thaw," said George Isobar, who collects weather data in Morenci for the National Weather Service, "but two January thaws is a little odd. We started the month off with single-digit temperatures, then they came back starting Jan. 21. Now they're here once more in early February—all sandwiched around some really mild days."

The high of 63° on Jan. 30 broke an old record set in Toledo. Actually it smashed the old record. The previous high temperature for that day of 56° was set way back in 1880.

Sixty degrees was recorded on the 12th in Morenci, also, plus there were two days in the 50s and three in the upper 40s. Despite the really cold days to balance things out, the mean temperature for the month figured out at 2.5° above average.

There were six single-digit mornings, including two with 0° readings. Twenty-seven mornings started off below freezing.

Precipitation ended about an inch above normal at 3.02 inches, but it wasn't snow that made much of a difference.

"We had only 2.3 inches fall for the month," Isobar said. "There were four inches on the ground the first few days of the month, but all of that fell in December."

The biggest snowfall—1.1 inches—fell on the 25th, but it didn't last long with 1.2 inches of rain falling in the next few days. The long-term average snowfall for January is about nine inches.

If it's not the temperature swings you remember about January, maybe it's the wind, Isobar suggested. The average windspeed measured in Toledo was nearly 10 miles an hour for the month and there were gusts above 20 on every day but four. The strongest gust measured came Jan. 20 with 56 miles an hour. The final two days of the month brought gusts in the 40s.

Freezing rain and ice pellets fell on Jan. 27 and 28, canceling school throughout the region.

FEBRUARY—"It really felt like winter on the weekend," Isobar said. Snow all day Saturday, a wind chill in single-digits by evening, then snow continuing into Sunday.

Some years February finishes as the snowiest month of the year, he said. In 1982, for example, 16.6 inches fell in February and 1988 had 15.7. There was more than 16 inches in 1994 and 10.5 as recent as 2007.

"We certainly have a good start toward this month becoming the snowiest of this season," Isobar said. "Then again, it wouldn't take much to achieve that status. And who knows, maybe the February thaw is on the horizon."

How is this for a what’s-coming-up report? Judy Whaley spotted half a dozen robins Saturday at her rural Fayette home on County Road N.

“Let’s assume those are travelers,” Isobar said, “and not the ones that hang out in the woods all winter.”

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017