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December 2013 - Report and Summary

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

The year 2013 saw near normal temperatures and slightly above normal rainfall. Compared with 2012, the year was 2.4 deg. Cooler, and 10.22 inches wetter. The year's average temperature was 66.0 deg., 0.4 deg. Warmer than normal. Rainfall was 50.85 inches 4.22 inches more than normal. The 2013 growing season began on March 26, and ended on November 13. This was 232 days 13 days short of the median value.

The warm season was also two weeks shorter than normal, beginning with the first 90-degree high temperature on May 18 and ending on September 26. This was 131 days, and was 14 days shorter than the median. There were 98 days with a high temperature at or above 90 degrees, and 10 days with a maximum at or above 100 deg.

The 2012-2013 Winter saw 31 days when the mercury reached or fell below freezing, and only one day when the temperature failed to rise above freezing, though the same thing happened on December 8, 2013 in the 2013-2014 cool season. The year's coldest temperature was 22 on December 10, while the highest was 103 on June 28. December 2013 was 1.6 deg. Cooler than normal, and rainfall was about 80 percent of normal. December 2013 was 6.0 deg. Cooler than December 2012, and 0.71 inch wetter.

The thirty-day outlook for December had called for near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation. When revised at the end of November, it was not changed. December began very warm, with temperatures running 12-18 degrees above normal through the 4th. Early on the morning of the 5th, that changed when Arctic air arrived in the region. An ice storm occurred on the night of the 5th above a Temple-Hillsboro-Paris line, with widespread rain elsewhere. Between one and four inches of sleet and freezing rain occurred in the ice storm area. South of the ice storm, between one-half and three fourths of an inch of rain fell.

Temperatures were below freezing in Tyler from the afternoon of the 6th through the morning of the 8th.

Light rain fell on the afternoon of the 9th when a reinforcing cold front arrived. There was an additional weak front on the 11th, though skies had finally cleared on the morning of the 10th after having been overcast since late on the 4th.

Cold temperatures persisted through the afternoon of the 18th, with another wet storm system crossing with widespread rain on the 13th and 14th.

Temperatures warmed sharply between the 19th and 21st, before another Arctic front and storm system crossed. This brought widespread rain and thunderstorms with some severe weather over the southeastern counties on the 21st. Temperatures went back below normal on the 22nd, where they largely remained through the end of the month. Another Arctic front crossed on the evening of the 29th with some patchy light rain.

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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