2009-03-04 03:02:41.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Staff Meteorologist

Yesterdays sunset

We have a common saying about the comments up here, ‘When there is nothing else to talk about, talk about the weather.’ I am not having that problem. In fact, I could talk about the second group of Germans up here. I could talk about the difficulty of forecasting yesterday morning. I could write about the cat. I could write about how cold it was today. I could write about all of these but, every time I wrote a sentence, I would delete it because I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with what I was saying. So with so much to talk about, I decided to narrow it down and write about the weather.

So, to start, I will discuss last month’s weather. February averaged 8.2F which was 1.6F above normal. The high was 37F and the low was 21F below zero, and neither of these were records. We received 6.46 inches of melted precipitation which was close to normal but ended up 0.87 inches below. We came close with our snowfall total as well with 42.1 inches, just 0.3 inches below normal. This brings the seasonal total to 179.7 inches which is 22.5 inches below normal but surprisingly, more snow has fallen this year than last year. The largest melted amount and snowfall amounts occurred on the 22/23rd with 2.56 inches and 19.0 inches respectfully. Winds were 0.9 mph above normal with 43.9 mph. Our peak gust was 126 mph with 16 days of 73 mph or more and 5 with 100 mph or more. We received 33 percent of the possible sunshine during the month with 26 days of fog, 4 days of rain, and 20 days of snow. So, overall a practically normal month overall with +/-1 on all departures from normal.

Now, let’s jump forward to yesterday’s weather and how much it departed from normal. The average temperature of 7F below zero was some 17 degree below normal for the day which normally averages 10F above zero. It wasn’t record breaking and it wasn’t the coldest I have seen. But it was cold enough where the cat wasn’t going outside anytime soon. It was some of the coldest temperatures and highest winds some of the Germans have seen. It wasn’t unexpected though as temperatures are doing what I forecasted (but they are about the only thing doing as I forecasted). It was just one of those days where the cold was an inconvenience more than anything else. But I am not going to complain too much. It is March and although it was cold today, things are only going to get warmer from here on out. To some that is a good thing but for those who enjoy winter (like me), warmer temperatures just means winters days are numbered. So I will enjoy the cold while I can.

So, for a comment that I decided would focus on weather, I some how found a way to fit in talking about the Germans, the cat, the cold today, and my forecast. So, I guess my comment today is like yesterdays sunset. I started in the observatory looking through an ice covered window which created a familiar but distorted image. I knew where the sun was heading, I had a good idea what it looked like but I just couldn’t see the end result. But after layering up and heading outside, I finally found clarity and could focus on where the sun was going. Similarly, when I started this comment, I didn’t know where it was heading but I knew what I wanted as the end result. Eventually, I found clarity and could see where I wanted this to go. And in the end, it was the weather that provided us with a sunset and me with a comment.


Ryan Knapp,  Staff Meteorologist

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