Winter 2012-13 Climate Summary: Warmer than Normal

Winter 2012-13 Climate Summary: Warmer than Normal across SE GA & NE FL

This winter will be remembered mainly for its warmer than normal temperatures, and marked by brief episodes of sub-freezing temperatures and ending with a heavy rainfall event that brought several rivers in southeast Georgia above flood stage. In fact, Alma, GA (AMG) set a monthly rainfall record for February with 9.54 inches, breaking the old record of 9.27 inches set in 1986, and also setting 5 new daily rainfall records along the way. The winter overall was about 3 to 4 degrees above average, but the extreme warmth during the month of January also allowed for Jacksonville and Alma to set new monthly all-time record high temperatures of 86 and 83 degrees, respectively. The overall number of freeze events was below normal for the winter, but a significant cold snap during the middle of February brought a widespread hard freeze to the entire forecast area on the morning of February 18th.

Image below is the Rainfall Departure from Normal for the month of February, which shows the record wet conditions that occurred across Southeast Georgia, the slightly wetter than normal conditions along the I-10 Corridor of North Florida and the continued dry conditions south of a line from Gainesville to St Augustine, where below normal rainfall was reported.

 Jacksonville, FL (JAX): Current 30-Day Departure from Normal Precipitation Valid at 2/28/2013 1200 UTC - Created 3/1/13 0:06 UTC

The next image below is the Rainfall Departure from Normal for the winter months of December, January & February, and shows the entire winter overall precipitation patterns were still dominated by normal to below normal precipitation amounts, except for a few locations in St Johns county across Northeast Florida and much of far inland Southeast Georgia. This is why the U.S. Drought Monitor Website still depicts a large area of moderate to severe long-term drought conditions lingering over the region.

Jacksonville, FL (JAX): Current 90-Day Departure from Normal Precipitation Valid at 2/28/2013 1200 UTC - Created 3/1/13 0:17 UTC

 

Climate Data Table for the month of February...

 

Feb Climate Data Average Temp Monthly High Monthly Low Precipitation Highest Daily Precip
Jacksonville, FL (JAX)

57.6 F

( + 1.2 F )

83 F on 11th, 23rd 24 F on 18th 4.71" ( + 1.52" ) 3.20" on 25th (Daily Record)
Gainesville, FL (GNV)

59.4 F

( + 1.9 F )

86 F on 22nd (Daily Record) 24 F on 18th 1.64" ( - 1.56" ) 0.54" on 25th
Alma, GA (AMG)

53.9 F

( - 0.3 F )

76 F on 13th 25 F on 2nd 9.54" ( + 5.74" ) (Monthly Record) 2.30" on 23rd (Daily Record)
St Simons Island, GA (SSI)

56.7 F

( + 2.2 F )

83 F on 13th (Daily Record) 30 F on 18th 3.77" ( + 0.30" ) 1.83" on 23rd (Daily Record)

 

Climate Data Table for Winter 2012-13 (Dec, Jan & Feb)...

 

Winter Climate Data Average Temp Season High Season Low # of Freeze Events Precipitation
Jacksonville, FL (JAX)

58.6 F ( + 3.7 F )

(Rank 26th Warmest)

Warmest Winter since 1973-74

85 F on 1/30

(All-time Jan record)

24 F on 2/18

10 days

(Normal 14)

8.03"

( - 1.26" )

Gainesville, FL (GNV)

60.1 F ( + 4.2 F )

(Rank 14th Warmest)

Warmest Winter since 1974-75

86 F of 2/22 24 F on 2/18

8 days

(Normal 13)

8.90"

( - 0.09" )

Alma, GA (AMG)

55.6 F ( + 3.1 F )

(Rank 8th Warmest)

Warmest Winter since 1990-91

83 F on 1/29

(All-time Jan record)

25 F on 2/2

12 days

(Normal 19)

13.08"

( + 1.73" )

St Simons Island, GA (SSI)

57.6 F ( + 4.2 F )

(Rank 7th Warmest)

Warmest Winter since 2011-12

83 F on 2/13 30 F on 2/18

3 days

(Normal 9)

5.91"

( - 3.42" )

 

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Spring Outlook (March, April & May) on their website is forecasting greater chances of above normal temperatures, and greater chances of below normal precipitation.

 

Jason Hess - NWS JAX Climate Focal Point

jason.hess@noaa.gov

 



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