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December 2010 - Report and Summary

by Robert K. Peters, Ph.D. - National Weather Service Cooperating Observer

After three wet years, 2010 was dry, with temperatures running about a degree below normal.

The warmest day in 2010 was 102 on August 23, while January 9 was the coldest with 12.

The 2010 growing season was 248 days three days above the median. It began on March 22, and ended with the first freeze on November 26. The 2010 warm season began on May 5 and ended September 24 with the first and last 90- degree high temperatures. This was 3 days shorter than normal at 141 days. There were ten days during 2010 when the mercury reached or exceeded 100 deg. all coming in August.

The 2009-2010 cool season was textbook El Nino, with five frozen precipitation events and 53 days on which the mercury fell to or below freezing. The accumulation of heating degree days was about 135 percent of normal.

February 2010 was the fifth coldest February on record.

The summer of 2010 warmed and dried with the waning of the El Nino event, and the inception of La Nina. Cooling degree days for 2010 were 113 percent of normal. April 2010 was the fifth driest April on record, May the fourth warmest May, and August the fifth warmest August warmer than the heat wave year of 1998.

The anomalously west June was the second wettest June, netting about one third of the ye year's rainfall.

The year's average temperature was 65.6 deg., which was 0.4 deg. Warmer than the previous year and 0.9 deg. Cooler than the 30-year average (1971-2000). In 2011, the normal values will change as the new standard climate (1981-2010) will be available in May.

Two of the ten years of the first decade of this century saw much above normal temperatures, while the remaining eight were from near to about a degree below normal. 2006 was the warmest year with a 68.1-deg. Mean temperature, while 2009 was the coolest with 65.2 deg.

The decadal temperature averaged 66.2 deg., which will likely lower the standard climate temperature when the new one is released. The decadal average rainfall increased by 0.99 inch, meaning that this value will also likely increase with the new standard climate.

2001 was the wettest year of the decade with 58.90 inches, while 2005 was the driest with 24.34 inches. Normal rainfall for the current standard climate period is 45.27 inches. Six years in the decade saw above normal precipitation, while four saw below normal.

December 2010 saw near normal temperatures, and much below normal rainfall. It was a fairly typical LaNina cool season month. Compared with December 2009, the month was 5.2 deg. Warmer, and 3.48 inch drier.

Total rainfall in 2010 was 17.74 inches less in 2010 than in 2009. The thirty-day outlook for December 2010 had called for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.

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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