Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Mildest Winter on Record

Source: NWS
I haven't seen an official notice from the National Weather Service, but based on their broadcasts last night, the winter of 2014/15 (meaning December 2014 through February 2015) surely has gone down as the warmest and least snowy on record in Salt Lake City.

Let's start with the average temperature for winter, which was 38.5ºF, besting the previous record of 38.0ºF set in 1933/1934 and 1977/1978.

Source: xmacis
February's 43.9ºF easily topped the 42.2ºF set in February 1934.  
Source: xmacis
Total winter (December-February) snowfall was only 6 inches, besting the 8.8 inches observed in 1962/63. 

Source: xmacis
I think it's safe to say that the combination of the warmest and least snowy winter makes this the mildest winter on record in Salt Lake.

Meanwhile, in the Wasatch, the Utah Avalanche Center noted today that Alta-Guard received 35 inches of snow in February.  I find 29 inches in the online records I can access, but 3 days are missing, so I'll go with the UAC total and assume that the record low snowfall of 34 inches in February 1950 still stands.  Of course, we've noted previously that differences in measurement practices and locations makes it nearly impossible to say that one of the Februaries was clearly worse than the other when the difference is only an inch (see Limitations of Long-Term Snowfall Records), so if you want to keep your "I survived the worst February snowfall on record" T-shirt, I'm OK with that.  Alternatively, the meme below should do the job.

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