2012: Annual Climate Summary

2012: Annual Climate Summary for Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia

Annual Precipitation: Above normal across NE Florida and Below Normal across SE Georgia

Annual Average Temperatures: Warmer than Normal (2nd warmest year on record across SE Georgia)

2012 will go down as a year marked with significant rainfall events from two tropical storms (TS Beryl and TS Debby) during the summer months sandwiched in between generally dry and warm seasons to begin and end the year. The January through mid-May period was marked by well above normal temperatures and generally drier than normal conditions, although a few brief hard freeze events were noted in January and February, while March 2012 will go down as one of the warmest on record. Several wildfires raged on during the warm and dry spring months including the large County Line wildfire in northern Baker and Columbia counties which grew to almost 35,000 acres. The summer rainy season was sparked by Tropical Storm Beryl which made landfall at Jacksonville Beach, FL on Memorial Day weekend as the "strongest pre-season Tropical Cyclone to make landfall in the United States". This storm impacted the coastal areas with wind gusts of 50 to 70 mph and dropped 4 to 8 inches of much-needed rainfall over inland areas which helped to put a dent in the drought and quench any remaining ongoing wildfires. The rainy season continued in full swing through the month of June, punctuated by Tropical Storm Debby which moved out of the Gulf of Mexico and very slowly across North Florida during the last week of the month. This storm was noted by the 1 to 2 feet of rainfall that fell across North Florida and the FL/GA stateline with lesser amounts further north across Southeast Georgia. This deluge sent rivers into Major Flood status with the St Mary's River recording a "flood of record", while Black Creek in Clay County and several rivers in the Suwannee River system were severely impacted as well, with flash flooding reported in and around the Lake City & Live Oak metro areas. These two tropical storms were responsible for the majority of the summertime rainfall through Labor Day and effectively ended the short-term drought across the region. The largest majority of these rainfall events fell across North Florida with lesser amounts across Southeast Georgia which were noted by the year-end totals which ended up above normal across NE Florida and below normal across SE Georgia. The remainder of the year's weather after Labor Day was relatively quiet with no daily rainfall and/or temperature records set at any climate sites except for one significant rainfall event that impacted Gainesville (8th wettest December on record with 6.93 inches) and other north Florida locations with 2 to 4 inches of rainfall in mid December which can be seen in this total monthly rainfall graphic which shows the December 2012 Monthly Departures from Normal Precipitation below...

Jacksonville, FL (JAX): December, 2012 Monthly Departure from Normal Precipitation Valid at 1/1/2013 1200 UTC - Created 1/3/13 21:40 UTC

2012 average temperatures were above normal for the year by 1 to 2 degrees (which was the 2nd warmest on record at Alma and St Simons Island across SE Georgia), these were set in motion by the well above-normal readings the first half of the year. The summer months actually recorded slightly below normal temperatures with the abundant rainy conditions and was the "coolest" summer since 2003. The fall months alternated cool and warm conditions and were punctuated by another early season freeze in late Novermber. It is interesting to note that the climate stations of Jacksonvile, Gainesville and St Simons Island's maximum temperature for the year was "only" 96 degrees, with only Alma in SE Georgia reaching the upper 90s along with one brief heat wave in late July with a maximum temperature of 102 degrees on July 25th.  Several all-time rainfall records were set during Tropical Storm Debby with Gainesville recording its wettest June ever with 16.34 inches, also the 6.95 inches that fell on June 24th was the second highest all-time daily rainfall total on record, with an astounding 3-day total of 12.02 inches from TS Debby.  The impacts in Jacksonville were just as eventful with an all-time 2-day record rainfall total of 12.56 inches, and an impressive 3-day rainfall total of 13.78 inches which was the 2nd highest total since records began in 1871.  These abundant rainfall amounts can be seen in the Full Year of 2012 Departure from Normal Precipitation amounts image below where some of the Suwannee River Valley saw rainfall departures up to 20 inches above normal for the entire year with other areas across north Florida showing quite a wet year calendar as well.

Jacksonville, FL (JAX): Full Year 2012 Departure from Normal Precipitation Valid at 1/1/2013 1200 UTC - Created 1/3/13 21:44 UTC

2012 Climate Station Temperature Summary
  Avg Temp (Departure) Highest Temp Lowest Temp Max Temp >= 90 F Min Temp <= 32 F
Jacksonville, FL (JAX) 69.5 F ( + 0.9 F ) 96 F on 7/26 21 F on 2/13 70 days 16 days
Gainesville, FL (GNV) 70.7 F ( + 1.8 F ) 96 F on 7/8 20 F on 2/13 101 days 15 days
Alma, GA (AMG) 68.5 F ( + 1.3 F ) 2nd Warmest 102 F on 7/25 18 F on 2/13 86 days 21 days
St Simons Island, GA (SSI) 70.0 F ( + 1.9 F ) 2nd Warmest 96 F on 7/8 26 F on 1/4 43 days 5 days


2012 Climate Station Precipitation & Weather Summary
  Total Precip (Departure) Maximum Rainfall Precip >= 0.01" Thunderstorms Dense Fog Highest Wind Gust
Jacksonville, FL 53.41" ( + 1.02" ) 7.36" on 6/25 107 days 82 days 45 days NE 39G56 mph on 5/27
Gainesville, FL 56.24" ( + 8.83" ) 6.95" on 6/24 101 days 47 days 62 days SW 33G49 mph on 2/19
Alma, GA 36.99" ( - 9.66" ) 3.64" on 3/3 108 days 83 days 81 days W 38G53 mph on 6/4
St Simons Island 41.16" ( - 3.84" ) 2.93" on 6/25 112 days 67 days 28 days E 36G58 mph on 5/27

Jason Hess - NWS Jacksonville Climate Focal Point

Please e-mail any questions/comments to jason.hess@noaa.gov

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