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Latest Activity: Feb 22
Maryland Weather Weblog
WeatherBug Headquarters, Germantown, MD
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
Summit Ridge, Mount Airy, MD
As of February 22, 2014, I have received 35.7" of snow at my Montgomery County Maryland station in Gaithersburg. Other stations nearby in the more elevated/more northern Clarksburg/Damascus area have received over 50 inches of snow this season so far. Anyone else out there in the state of Maryland have any seasonal to date snowfall amounts?
Please post them!
GAITHERSBURG 2 WNW MARYLAND - JANUARY 2014 STATION HIGHLIGHTS by Kevin Shaw, observer in charge. (Part 2 of 2)
The distribution of 10 sunny, 11 partly cloudy and 10 cloudy days was in concert with the number of measurable precipitation days (9), and the slightly below normal monthly precipitation values.
There were 6 days with fog, including two straight days on 14th and 15th. There was no cooling degree days and 1142 heating degree days. My peak wind gust was a modest 23 MPH on the frigid 7th of the month. My monthly minimum wind chill temperature of -6.3° was also reached early on that same day.
My maximum temperature frequencies included 5 days of 50 or above, 7 days from 40-49, 11 days 30-39, 5 days 20-29, and 3 days 10-19, including ten days that stayed at or below freezing all day. On the minimum temperature frequency side of things, there were 10 days between 0-9, 5 days between 10-19, 11 days between 20-29, and 5 days between 30-39, including 28 days having minimums of 32 or less.
The diurnal range average was exactly normal (17.8°) which hasn't happened in quite some time. The max daily range of 35.7° was on the 6th as we plunged into the throws of our first arctic outbreak of the month. The 5.1° lowest daily temperature range on the 10th occurred during our biggest 2-day storm period of the month. There were only 3 days total with diurnal ranges lower than 10° on the 2nd, 10th and 28th. Conversely, there were 10 days with ranges of 20° or more (and 2 of 30° or more), which were dispersed throughout the month.
January 2014 really was just seasonably cold statistically but because of the rash of mild Januarys generally of late it felt colder. And we certainly did have a few really cold, record-breaking days too. And so far in February we have continued a cold and somewhat snowy pattern, with one bad ice storm which I hope will not occur again this winter. Will this pattern hold for the remaining weeks of this winter? The Ground Hog just said six more weeks of winter, stay tuned to see if that rodent turns out to be a good prophet or not.
GAITHERSBURG 2 WNW MARYLAND - JANUARY 2014 STATION HIGHLIGHTS by Kevin Shaw, observer in charge. (Part 1 of 2)
Finally a respectable winter-like month! I didn't set any long-time records, but I had a number of daily records set and the rankings for this month were quite respectable and in the top echelon in several categories. It was the 7th snowiest January all-time. It was the coldest January since 2004 and the 9th coldest January of all time (mean temp). The coldest minimum temperature of 3° on the 7th broke a daily record and was the coldest minimum temperature I have had in January since 2009 when 3° was also reached (a colder min of 1° was reached back in 2004). The 7° minimum on the 30th also set a daily record. I had 10 days with minimum temperatures in the single digits, the most since 2004. Snowfalls of 3.5" on the 2nd and 7.8" on the 21st set daily records. The 17° maximum temperature on the 7th and the 18° max on both the 22nd and 28th set daily records. The 10 days with minimum temperatures was the most I have had since the very cold January of 1994. Also the 10 days with maximum temperatures of 32 or less and 28 days with minimum temperatures of 32 or less were above normal and near the top ranking in my 36 year period of record. Local ice formation, a good indication of a real cold month around here, was the most extensive/thickest in 20 years!
Actual statistics for January 2014 shows an average maximum temperature of 37.1° (- 3.7°) and an average minimum temperature of 19.3°(- 3.7°) resulting in a mean monthly temperature average of 28.2°(- 3.7°). The monthly precipitation total of 2.65" was 0.40" below the normal amount of 3.05". The monthly snowfall total of 12.2" was 3.6" above the normal amount of 8.6". The highest barometric pressure reading for the month of 30.68" occurred on the 9th at the end of the month's first big cold snap, as HIGH pressure moved over then off the coast. As what often happens during a highly amplified pattern period, our biggest storm of the month rushed in, resulting in our lowest pressure reading of the season only two days later on the 11th with 29.41" when we also had our biggest calendar day rain of the month (0.74") and the greatest storm amount of 1.24" on the 10th and 11th combined. (Continued on part 2 of 2)
OCTOBER 2013 - GAITHERSBURG 2 WNW MD - STATION HIGHLIGHTS
by Kevin Shaw, Observer in Charge - Part 2 of 2
Actual statistics for October 2013 shows an average maximum temperature of 66.4°(+ 1.0°) and an average minimum temperature of 48.8°( + 4.9°) resulting in a mean monthly temperature average of 57.6°( + 3.0°). The monthly precipitation total of 5.80" was 2.30" above the normal amount of 3.50". I am now running a bit more than 2 inches above normal for the year to date total through October 31 at 2.70" above normal. (40.35" vs. 37.65"). The modest high barometric pressure reading for the month of 30.41" on the 29th occurred during a brief moderate warmup after our coldest period of the month. The 29.69" lowest pressure value of the month occurred on the 23rd, in the middle of the longest dry period of the month (12 days - from the 18th through the 29th), but just ahead of our coldest days of the month on the 25th and 26th. The distribution of 10 clear/sunny, 10 partly cloudy and 11 cloudy days was in concert with the number of measurable precipitation days, and the overall daily patterns of the month. There were 14 days with fog, mostly around that wet second week period. There were 34 cooling degree days and 263 heating degree days. My maximum temperature frequencies included 5 days of 80 or above, 3 days from 70-79, 17 days from 60-69 and 6 days from 50-59. On the minimum temperature frequency side of things, there were 7 days between 30-39, 8 days between 40-49, 12 days between 50-59, and 4 days between 60-69. The diurnal range average was below normal (17.5° vs a normal of 21.5°) with a maximum daily range of 28.4° on the 3rd at the onset of our early warm spell. The 4.2° lowest daily temperature range occurred shortly thereafter on the 10th, in the middle of our biggest monthly wet period with considerable cloudiness and fog. There were 5 days total with diurnal ranges lower than 10° during the month, all occurring from the 9th through the 13th. Conversely, there were 12 days with ranges over 20°, most of which were either during the first or last week of the month. After the first week of warmth, October 2013 quickly became much more fall-like, and by the end of the month started to exhibit some winter-like patterns. All was quite normal for this gorgeous, transitional month. Fall color in my neighborhood was really nice this year. It seemed to come on quite quickly after the cool, wet period during the second week of the month, but color persisted through the rest of the month and into the early days of November. Our first light snow possibility is coming in to our area in the next few days. Whether that foreshadows a heavy snow winter remains to be seen. We shall see what happens during the rest of November and report it here next month so stay tuned!
OCTOBER 2013 - GAITHERSBURG 2WNW MARYLAND - STATION HIGHLIGHTS
by Kevin Shaw, observer in charge - Part 1 of 2
October 2013 was wet and mild, a pattern that has been generally predominating over the past 5 Octobers. I was out of town for the first 10 days of the month on a major odyssey out to Las Vegas NV and return, as my younger daughter embarked on a new life/career out there with her dog and 3 cats, working in the restaurant industry. I had a dogsitter staying at the house while away, so he monitored the weather instruments as best he could. Still I supplemented my records with data from other stations where needed. I annotated my records as best I could where appropriate.
October 2013 turned out to be tied for 8th place on the wettest October list. Just last year I had my wettest ever, almost twice as much as I had this month. The wettest day of the month, 2.26" on the 11th, was the only day to set a dailyrecord. The second warmest day of the month, 84.6° on the 5th, was the only daily record high set. The highest reading of 84.9° on the 6th did not set a daily record. Very warm temperatures in the 80s and 60s the first week of the monthfortunately did not persist and the rest of the month failed to reach those values again. Our first freeze on the 26th (30°) was 6 days later than my long time average first 32° fall date of October 20. It was the only day below freezing for the month, hence it was also my coldest October reading.
The lack of tropical activity this fall continued in October. However, the second week of the month turned significantly wetter with more of a winter-like storm acompanied by chilling rains and brisk northerly component winds. The 5.42" ofrain that fell during the week period from the 7th through the 13th yielded over 93% of the total monthly precipitation. The month's total of 5.80" was over 2 inches above normal, with an average amount of 11 days of measurabledays with precipitation. Temperature-wise, we had the warm beginning through the 7th, averaging about 80° for maximum temperatures and almost 60° for our minimum temperatures. The rest of the month averaged much cooler, with mid 60s high temperatures and mid 40s low temperatures.
SEPTEMBER 2013 STATION HIGHLIGHTS - GAITHERSBURG 2 WNW MD
by Kevin Shaw, observer in charge - Part 2 of 2
The modest high barometric pressure reading for the month of 30.44" on the 17th occurred during our first monthly cool interlude into 60s maxima. The 29.69" lowest pressure value of the month occurred on the 21st, on the second most rainy day of the month (0.80"). The distribution of 14 clear/sunny, 15 partly cloudy and only 1 cloudy day was a unique pattern not seen in these parts in several years. Of course the 1 cloudy day does fit in with the low amount of measureable precipitation days (3). There were no days with fog that I observed. There were 111 cooling degree days and 72 heating degree days. My maximum temperature frequencies included 2 days of 90 or above, 7 days from 80-89, 15 days from 70-79, and 6 days from 60-69. On the minimum temperature frequency side of things, there were 8 days between 40-49, 14 days between 50-59, 5 days between 60-69 and 3 days of 70 or greater. The diurnal range average was about normal (20.1° vs a normal of 20.3°) with a max daily range of 28.1° on both the 19th and 25th. The 11.4°lowest monthly range of daily temps occurred in between that time, on our second wettest day of the month on the 21st. There were 17 days total with diurnal ranges between 11.4° and 19.7°. That left 13 days with max ranges between 20.8° and 28.1°. There were a lot of dry days to spread the max and min temps out, though not spectacularly so. September 2013 was quite dry and amazingly lacking in tropical activity in our area. Cool air invasions certainly became more frequent by mid-month and were quite welcome after a muggy summer. There may be a few early samples of winterlike weather during the next few weeks as it seems to be showing on the long term models. We shall see what happens and report it here next month so stay tuned!
by Kevin Shaw, Observer in charge - Part 1 of 2
September 2013 was a slightly cooler month, both on maxima and minima temperatures, and a significantly drier month due to a lack of tropical activity during the month in the Mid-Atlantic Region. This lack of precipitation was the major news of the month, as September 2013 came in as the seventh driest September in my 35 period of record. Over 2 inches below normal, and less than 50% of normal with a measly 3 days of measurable rainfall recorded (2nd lowest September value of all time, only surpassed by 2 days recorded back in 2005 when I had my all-time driest September ever at 0.25”). All three measurable precipitation days occurred between the 12th and 21st. Combined with my also meager 1.76" of rain in August, the 2 month Aug-Sept 2013 total rainfall of 3.64" comes in 4th all-time in my 35 years of records, with the years 1989, 1998, and 2005 coming in lower (2005 was the lowest at 1.48” for the 2-month August-September period). Temperature-wise, we had a warm beginning through the 12th, with a few 90 days and 3 tied and one outright record high min temperature logged (72° on the 11th being the outright record and our warmest min of the month). No record high temps were set during the month. After the 12th, we had several fine fall days, and did not reach an 80 max the rest of the month, with several (9) nice overnights into the 40s. Winds were very light all month, and barometric pressures not very notable, though the 30.44" reading on the 17th was the highest reading since 30.46" was reached way back on May 2. The 30.44" reading occurred on the day before our lowest temperature reading of the month of 44.1°, which did not set a daily record by the way. Remarkably we only had one cloudy day all month. Actual statistics for September 2013 shows an average maximum temperature of 76.4°(-0.2°) with the average minimum temperature of 56.2° (- 0.1°) resulting in a mean monthly temperature average of 66.3° (-0.1°). The monthly precipitation total of 1.88" was 2.32" below the normal amount of 4.20".
I am now running only slightly above normal for the year to date total through September 30 at 0.40" above the normal precipitation amount for the year (34.55" vs. 34.15").
AUGUST 2013 MONTHLY SUMMARY - GAITHERSBURG 2 WNW MARYLAND by Kevin Shaw, Observer in charge - Part 2 of 2
There were only 3 days with fog. There were 234 cooling degree days and 1 heating degree day. My maximum temperature frequencies included 0 days of 90 or above, 19 days from 80-89, and 12 days from 70-79. On the minimum temperature frequency side of things, there were 7 days below 60, 16 days between 60-69 and 8 days of 70 or greater.
The diurnal range average was quite a bit below normal (15.6° vs a normal of 20.8°) with a max daily range of 24.6° on the 26th. The 4.3° lowest monthly range occurred only 2 days later on the 28th on a cloudy, light rainy day, one of only a few during the last half of the month. There were only 3 days total with diurnal ranges less than 10°. Conversely there were 8 days with diurnal ranges of over 20°. On those 8 dry days the temperature really spread apart from the morning min to the afternoon max.
August 2013 was quite diverse with some really nice, dry pleasant days interspersed with very muggy, cloudy days but with precious little rain. Tropical activity has been sub-par so far this season, as I type this approaching the peak day of the season based on long-term averages. There are some indications that activity will be increasing over the next few weeks. Much more September analysis will be forthcoming about this time next month so stay tuned! (End of Part 2 of 2)
AUGUST 2013 MONTHLY SUMMARY - GAITHERSBURG 2 WNW MARYLAND by Kevin Shaw, observer in charge - Part 1 of 2
August 2013 somewhat reversed the general pattern of the past several months, in that the average temperature was below normal (-4.5). It has been common to have below average max temps, but not to record breaking numbers - I had my coolest average max temp (80.4°) in my 35 years of records, surpassing the 80.5° set back in 1982 and 1994. And for only the second time ever, I had no days of max temps of 90 or greater, which only happened one other time, back in 1982. The average min temp was still above normal, so that part fits in with my general patterns of the past few years, but it was only 0.6° above normal, the least amount all year. High humidity levels were quite present most of the month, I had 18 days with dew points of 70° or greater recorded sometime during the day. Despite this high humidity, rainfall was considerably below normal (-1.98") with the monthly total of 1.76" tying 1992 as the fifth driest August of all time. 83% of total precip was on 8/13 or before. Not very many records were set during the month, as only 2 lowest maximums (3rd with 74°/4th with 78°) and one high minimum (9th with 75°) were established as records.
Actual statistics for August 2013 shows an average maximum temperature of 80.4° (- 4.5°) with the average minimum temperature of 64.7° (+ 0.6°) resulting in a mean monthly temperature average of 72.5° (-2.0°). I had 12 days with maxs in the 70s and 7 days with mins in the 50s.
It being a basically dry month, the stress on crops and lawns was mitigated by a few factors. Precipitation was spread out in light amounts most of the month, particularly in the first 13 days of the month when 83% of the total monthly precipitation fell. Though only sporadic light amounts fell after the 13th, spaced out over only 3 days, a combination of cool, dry and warm, very humid days kept evaporation down a bit. There were a total of 10 days with measurable rainfall, essentially a normal amount for August, based on my 35 year record average of 9.5. The monthly precipitation total of 1.76" was 1.91" below the normal amount of 3.67". I am now running 2.72" above the normal precipitation amount for the year through August 31 (32.67" vs. 29.95").
The modest high barometric pressure reading for the month of 30.42" on the 25th occurred at the beginning of the month ending hot and humid period, punctuated by a light shower in the middle of this period. The 29.74" lowest pressure value of the month occurred on the 13th, a cool rainy day that ushered in our coolest weather of the month around the 15th. The 15 MPH PWG (peak wind gust) for the month that came from a northerly component occurred on the 4th and 14th, bringing in our two coolest spells of the month (a short one on the 4th, longer one on the 14th). The distribution of 12 clear/sunny, 11 partly cloudy and 8 cloudy days was very similar to July's numbers in that regard, but did not yield the same results otherwise.(End of Part 1 of 2)
AUGUST 2013 - GAITHERSBURG 2 NW MARYLAND BRIEF SUMMARY STATISTICS FOR THE BACKYARD BLOG by Kevin Shaw, Observer in charge
Average high temp 80.4° (- 4.5°) Average low temp 64.7° (+ 0.6°) Mean temp 72.5° (- 2.0°) Precipitation 1.76" (- 1.91") Greatest daily amount 0.40" (7) Year to date precip 32.67" (+ 2.72")
High temperature for the month (date) 87° (27,30) Low temperature for the month (date) 53° (15)
Highest barometric pressure (date) 30.42" (25) Lowest barometric pressure (date) 29.74" (13) Peak wind gust (date/direction): 15 (4,14/NE,NW)
Heating degree days for the month: 1 Cooling degree days for the month: 234 Greatest diurnal range (date): 24.6° (26) Least diurnal range (date) 4.3° (28)
Days: Fog 3 Sleet/Freezing Rain days: 0 Snow days : 0 Thunder days: 1 Sunny/clear days: 12 Partly Cloudy days: 11 Cloudy days: 8
Days with measurable precipitation (=>.01") = 10 Days with minimum temperatures of less than 60 = 7 Days with maximum temperatures of 90 or more = 0
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