Astronomical Winter Summary

March 21, 2017 0 Comments

While most official climate records are organized by meteorological seasons such as “meteorological winter, meteorological spring, etc., some data is still categorized by astronomical seasons. This is keeping data between an equinox and the ensuing solstice, or vice versa. Here’s  look at Rochester’s data from winter 2016-17 compliments of the National Weather Service in La Crosse.

 

Rochester... 

Temperatures - 8th Warmest

During astronomical winter, temperatures averaged 24.1F at 
Rochester International Airport.  This was 6.5F above the 
normal of 17.6F.  This made it the 8th warmest winter and 
the warmest since the winter of 2011-12 (average temperature 
of 29.5F - warmest winter ever recorded). It is interesting 
to note that 7 out of the 12 warmest winters have occurred 
within the last 20 years.   Here are the ten warmest 
astronomical winters in Rochester MN.

       Warmest Astronomical Winters
             in Rochester MN
               1886-2017

                Average
    Rank      Temperature     Winter
    ----      -----------     ------
      1         29.5F        2011-12
      2         27.6F        1930-31
      3         26.5F        1986-87
      4         26.1F        2005-06
      5         25.8F        1991-92
      6         24.9F        1989-90
      7         24.2F        1982-83
      8         24.1F        2016-17
      9         23.6F        1999-2000
     10         23.5F        1997-98

The average high temperature was 31.4F.  This was 5F 
warmer than the long-term average of 26.4F.  This made 
it the 14 warmest.    

The average low temperature was 16.8F.  This was 8F 
warmer than the long-term average of 8.8F.  This made 
it the 8th warmest and the warmest since 2011-12.

The warmest high temperature was 63F on March 6th.
The coldest high temperature was -1F on January 5th.

The warmest low temperature was 37F on March 6th.
The coldest low temperature was -13F on January 6th. 

Precipitation - 2nd Wettest

During astronomical winter, a total of 6.01" of 
precipitation fell at Rochester International Airport.  
This was 3.01" wetter than the long-term average of 3".  
Only the winter of 1887-88 was wetter (6.36").  
Here are the ten wettest astronomical winters 
in Rochester MN.

       Wettest Astronomical Winters
            in Rochester MN
               1886-2017

    Rank    Precipitation     Winter
    ----    -------------     ------
      1      6.36 inches     1887-88
      2      6.01 inches     2016-17
      3      5.51 inches     1950-51
      4      5.32 inches     1982-83
      5      5.25 inches     1972-73
      6      5.00 inches     1989-90
      7      4.95 inches     2012-13
      8      4.70 inches     1964-65
      9      4.69 inches     1932-33
     10      4.55 inches     1996-97 

The wettest day occurred on March 6th when 0.92" of 
precipitation fell.

Measurable (0.01" or greater) precipitation fell on 23 days 
(25.8%) and trace amounts of precipitation fell on another 
19 days (21.3%).

Snowfall -  24th Snowiest

During astronomical winter, a total of 35.6" of snow fell 
at Rochester International Airport.  This was 7.7" above 
the long-term average of 27.9".  

The snowiest dayS occurred on February 24th and March 12th when 6.4" 
of snow fell.

Measurable (0.1" or greater) snow fell on 16 days (18.0%) 
and trace amounts of snow fell on another 15 days (16.9%).

Snow Depth - 

During astronomical winter, the average snow depth at Rochester 
International Airport was 4.7".  This was 0.9" below than 
the the long-term average of 5.6".  

The greatest snow depth was 10" from January 26th through 
February 1st and from February 25th through February 27th.

Measurable snow was on the ground on 71 days or 79.8% 
of the season and there was no snow on the ground on 15 days 
or 16.9% of the season.
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