Jan 1, 2011

2010 Year in Review & Learning to use the LRC

OSNW3 ends December with 1.79 inches of precipitation and again surpasses the Oshkosh monthly average making it the fifth consecutive year in doing so. However, December of 2010 is the driest December at OSNW3 on record since genesis in 2006. Our snow pack took a huge hit in recent days as the past two low pressures western track pulled in very warm air for December and with the warm air the dreaded form of precipitation this time of year, rain. These conditions have quickly decimated a strong 8 inch snow pack. Climatology for December since 1893 can be found here. The first couple weeks of 2011 will bring seasonal temperatures and slight chances for below average precipitation according to the CPC. This forecast agrees with what I expect to occur during this time period in regards to snowfall by my novice use of the LRC.

(OSNW3 Weather Brief)
(OSNW3 January Observations)

(OSNW3 January 2011 Summary)

(click on graph for the month summary data - it will open a new tab/window)

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Weekly Snowfall
The recent warming trend put a damper on our great start to the snow season. Not too long ago things were looking exceptional around the region for snow lovers. I have a sneaky feeling we'll be up and down like that this winter. For seasonal snowfall stats click here.

(Dec 19, 2010 - 0.1")


(Dec 21, 2010 - 2.2")


(Dec 22, 2010 - 1.0")


(Dec 25, 2010 - 0.1")


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LRC Learning Process
The storms that rolled through Dec 29-31 brought warm air and rain with them. Something that I did not think would happen back on Dec 17 when I created my backyard snowfall forecast using the LRC. I will admit I was skeptical of this particular system due to the direct southerly flow in the first cycle, but with it being the end of December I thought that it would at the least snow a little bit. Not the case. This got me thinking about a way to accommodate for different types of precipitation when committing to a long range snowfall forecast. Perhaps I could use the temperature deviation from the long term average or the deviation from cycle median occurring in the previous cycle for a clue? After comparing the most recent activity in this cycle and it's partner in the previous cycle I concluded that the cycle median deviation from average was ambiguous, but the deviation from the long term average was not as anomalous. The results may have persuaded me to predict less snow had I thought of this potential component. We'll see if this turns out to be matter for more thought. Click the link above for my latest analysis, fun.

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Climatological Averages
The 'normal' temperature and precipitation numbers we have all become accustomed to the past ten years are all about to change. Each decade the NWS recalculates the 30 year averages. We will be moving from the 1971-2000 time period onto the 1981-2010 period. It seems it may be a daunting task to incorporate all the new averages into my database, but it gives me a great opportunity to upgrade. I look forward to seeing the new averages!

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2010 - Year In Review
:January; Two words. El Nino. First ten days were seasonable but overall Jan 2010 was mild and dry.
:February; Accompanied by above average snowfall and above average temperatures, the below average snow pack quickly melted away once March arrived. Overall all it was mild and wet.
:March; Spring was the overall theme as it was warm and dry. Joined just four other months of March since 1893 to not record a maximum temperature below freezing. However, an upside was that the ice shoves did not disappoint this winter enthusiast.
:April; Felt more like May or June. A wet start, typical of the past few years. Earliest lake fly hatch in 50 years. Green-up began two weeks earlier than the previous year.
:May; A true roller coaster ride. 80's to begin and end, but the first ever snowflakes recorded at OSNW3 in May, during the middle of the month.
:June; Seasonally warm and very wet. Dew points were maxed out near the end of the month. Rain barrel was consistently full and untouched all month.
:July; Record breaking rains and dew points above 65 for all but a hand full of days. The dog days of summer were prevalent. 3 rain events over an inch.
:August; August ends 2 inches below average but summer ends as Wettest ever. Dew points stay maxed out for most of the month.
:September; Provided a relief from the summer heat but hung us out to dry relatively speaking. 16 days with measurable precipitation but yet remained below average.
:October; Warm and dry. 17 days without measurable precipitation, ranking in the top 5 all-time dry spells at OSNW3. An unforgettable event, the Great Lakes Cyclone.
:November; A dry and mild month. Typical ups and downs. Below average precipitation as is the normal at OSNW3.
:December; Relatively snowy but not to be overlooked by a late arriving first inch and start to winter. One blizzard which was issued a winter storm warning. A late warming trend killed the 8+ inches of snow pack to end the year.

Daily climatology can be found for each of the months by following this link. An overall climatological summary of 2010 can be found here. A precipitation comparison graph of each of the four full years on record at OSNW3 can be here.

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Front Of House
It's 2011, Happy New Year! FOH 2010 time lapse coming soon.

(FOH - Jan 1, 2011)