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December 2015 - Report and Summary

Tyler's weather record book looks a lot different at the beginning of 2016 than it did at the beginning of 2015. 2015 is the wettest year since regular weather record-keeping began in 1896 with 71.87 inches. This is 4.57 inches greater than the previous record of 67.30 inches from 1957.

Scattered records in Tyler go back to 1870, but reliable daily weather records commenced on January 1, 1896 at the Cotton Belt Railroad Passenger station. I mention this because 1873 was probably wetter. An Army Signal Corps station at Clarksville measured 109 inches, and another station at Shreveport measured over 81 inches that year.

The year's warmest day was August 10 with a temperature of 105, while the coldest day was January 8 with 18. The growing season began on March 7 and ended on November 22 260 days; this is 15 days longer than the mean. The warm season began on June 4 and did not end until October 15 133 days; 12 days shorter than the mean.

In general, the year saw above normal temperatures. The big variable was rainfall. Early-Spring through early-Summer saw much above normal rainfall; mid-Summer into early-Fall saw much below normal rainfall, and late-Fall into early-Winter again saw well above normal rainfall. The late-year rains were the result of a potent ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) event.

The mercury exceeded the century mark on 9 days almost double normal. The Winter of 2014-2015 saw below freezing temperatures on 30 days just about normal. Monthly extremes which were within the five records for their respective months were: March 2015 with 8.02 inches of rain fifth wettest, July 2015 with 0.00 inch of rain tied with July 1924 and July 1947 for driest July, September 2015 with 0.15 inch of rain fifth driest September October 2015 with 11.89 inches third wettest October, November 2015 with 9.48 inches fifth wettest November, and December 2015: (the 9.77 inches which fell at Pounds Field would make it the third wettest December, the 7.74 inches which fell in the city [the official record site] did not come within the five wettest Decembers,) with an average temperature of 55.3 the fourth warmest December on record.

Pounds Field measured 68.05 inches of rain in 2015 0.85 inch greater than the previous 1957 record.

The year 2015 saw an average temperature of 67.2 deg. This was 1.6 deg. Warmer than normal, and 1.8 deg. Warmer than 2014. 2015 was not among the ten warmest years. The month of December 2015 was much warmer and much wetter than normal. The thirty-day outlook had called for below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. It was not changed with the November 30 revision. Total rainfall for 2015 was 27.60 inches greater in 2015 than in 2014. December 2015 was 5.22 inches wetter than December 2014. December 2015 was 3.9 deg. Warmer than December 2014.

A weak storm system with light showers exited on the 1st. It was followed by a period of near to slightly below normal temperatures and dry air, which continued until sharp warmingcommenced on the 8th. The above to much above normal temperatures continued through the 13th. A powerful storm system crossed between the 11th and 13th, resulting in very heavy rainfall of between two and eight inches, and two tornadoes on the afternoon of the 12th. These tornadoes were unusual in that they were low-topped and contained little to no lightning. One of the tornadoes hit Lindale without warning; there was warning when the same tornado again touched down north of Mount Vernon. The rain measured on December 13 put Tyler's yearly total over the previous record wettest year of 1957.

Another weak disturbance crossed on the 15th accompanied by a cold front. This brought rain on the 15th, and near to slightly below normal temperatures through the 19th under fair skies. A reinforcing front on the night of the 17th continued the cool air flow. Rainfall amounts on the 15th were generally under one-half inch.

Temperatures warmed beginning on the 20th. A weak storm system brought showers and a few thunderstorms on the morning of the 23rd, followed by slightly cooler temperatures on the 24th. A very powerful storm system crossed from the 26th through the 28th. There were several tornadoes in the area, including one which touched down in Harrison County on the afternoon of the 27th. The storms were accompanied by very heavy rainfall, which moved slowly eastward across the region. Between four and ten inches of rain fell.

Cooler air arrived on the afternoon of the 27th, with Arctic air arriving on the morning of the 28th. The final three days of the year were cool and dry.

The reporting period for temperatures and phenomenon on each day is for the twenty-four hours ending at midnight hours GMT--6 p.m. CST and 7 p.m. CDT. The reporting period for precipitation is for the twenty-four hours ending at noon GMT--6 a.m. CST and 7 a.m. CDT. All times are given using the twenty-four hour clock, and are expressed in Greenwich Mean Time.

Observations are from NWS Station 41/9207/4 in Tyler, Texas. The term "normal" refers to averages from the standard climatic period 1971-2000.




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