Friday, January 27, 2012

Typical Kansas!

This was a statement from the Wichita National Weather Service this morning:


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WICHITA KS
800 AM CST FRI JAN 27 2012

...JANUARY 2012 ON PACE TO JOIN "THE 10 DRIEST JANUARIES" FRATERNITY...

THROUGH THE 26TH...WICHITA HAD MEASURED ONLY 0.03 INCH OF RAIN. WITH NO
RAIN FORECAST THRU THE 31ST...THIS WOULD PLACE THE 2012 IN A TIE WITH
1994 FOR THE 7TH DRIEST JANUARY ON RECORD SINCE CLIMATE RECORDS BEGAN ON
JULY 1ST 1888.

IN A 3-WAY TIE FOR 1ST ARE 1986...1919 AND 1914 WHEN NO MEASURABLE
PRECIPITATION OCCURRED.

IN A 3-WAY TIE FOR 2ND ARE 1961...1923 AND 1911 WHEN 0.02 INCH WAS
MEASURED.

CHANUTE HAS BEEN EVEN DRIER. THROUGH THE 26TH...ONLY 0.01 INCH HAD BEEN
MEASURED...PLACING 2012 IN 3RD PLACE BEHIND 2009 AND 1909 WHEN OBVIOUSLY
NO MEASURABLE RAINFALL OCCURRED.

HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE 22ND ON WHICH 0.15 INCH OF RAIN WAS MEASURED...
SALINA WOULD BE EXPERIENCING THEIR DRIEST JANUARY ON RECORD. A FEAT THAT
HAS OCCURRED 6 TIMES...IN 2009...1986...1953...1938...1923 AND 1893.


Just the month before:


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WICHITA KS
1010 PM CST THU DEC 29 2011

...WICHITA EXPERIENCING 5TH WETTEST DECEMBER ON RECORD...

AS OF THE 29TH 3.69 INCHES OF RAIN HAD BEEN MEASURED AT WICHITA`S MID
CONTINENT AIRPORT...MAKING 2011 THE 5TH WETTEST DECEMBER ON RECORD.

WITH NO FURTHER PRECIPITATION FORECAST THROUGH NEW YEAR`S EVE...THIS
WILL BE THE FINAL TOTAL FOR DECEMBER.

THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF THE 10 WETTEST DECEMBERS ON RECORD:

1ST  4.71 INCHES IN 1984
2ND  4.06 INCHES IN 1999
3RD  3.98 INCHES IN 1944
4TH  3.93 INCHES IN 1913
5TH  3.69 INCHES IN 2011
6TH  3.31 INCHES IN 1918
7TH  3.14 INCHES IN 1942
8TH  3.05 INCHES IN 1911
9TH  2.98 INCHES IN 1947
10TH 2.80 INCHES IN 1973

Only in Kansas, huh?!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mild January but not "Top Ten" worthy

Megan Strader asked me today in our morning meeting "is this the warmest January ever?"  No doubt it has been mild lately but with a little investigating, I quickly found the answer.  So far this month, Wichita's average temperature (the average of the high/low for each day) has been 37.1 degrees.  Hard to believe, but this number doesn't even put us in the Top Ten!

Here is the Top 5 warmest Januarys on record in Wichita:


1) 2006: 43.2 deg.
2) 1933: 42.5
3) 1923: 41.4
4) 1939: 40.5
5) 1990: 39.5


10) 1914: 38.5

What stands out about Jan. 2006 is that Wichita never recorded a high in the 30s that month!  The coolest high temperature was 40 degrees.  This month on the other hand, we have had 5 days with highs in the 30s.

So it's not in the record book perhaps yet but you won't hear me complaining!!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

See-saw battle this January

If you've watched our weathercasts lately, you know all about the roller-coaster ride we've experienced with our day to day high temperatures.  Six times this month, the high temperature has changed +/- 10 degrees or more from one day to the next.  The greatest one-day high temperature change was earlier this week when the temperature fell 22 degrees between Monday and Tuesday.

But then I began to wonder: how often has this happened in the past?  Thanks to the Wichita National Weather Service's homepage, I was able to look up all of the data for the month of January between 1997 and 2011.  While 15 years isn't a very large data set, it does show that these fluctuations have happened somewhat regularly.  During that aforementioned time span, the average number of times the high temperature experienced a day-to-day change of +/- 10 degrees or more was nearly 12! (11.9 times to be exact).  That's over a third of the month!  The least number times we saw this swing in temperatures was 3 in 2001; the most: 18 in 2003.

If you increase the daily high temperature change to +/- 15 degrees, it does so on average 5 times each January.  The greatest number of times this happened in the last 15 years: 11 in 2009.  The least: once in 2001.  So far in 2012, we've experienced this only once too: that 22 degree drop from the 16th and 17th.

What was the biggest change in our high temperature from one day to the next over the past 15 January's?  On  January 11, 2007 the high temperature was 70.  The next day was just 29!

I'm not drawing any conclusions from the data set.  But at least over the last 15 years in the month of January, the see-saw pattern is more common than one might think.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Waist-deep into January

Today's high in Wichita was 32.  Believe it or not, this is the first time this month (and year!) that Wichita has had a high in the 30s.  It's also the first time our high has been below normal!  Typically for the first half of January, Wichita's average high temperature is 41 or 42 degrees.
More stats to chew on: two days this month have been in the 40s, while there have been eight days in the 50s and one in the 60s!


Simply amazing!