December 2012 Climate Summary

...DECEMBER 2012 MONTHLY CLIMATE SUMMARY...

The month of December 2012 finished off a very warm and dry year for the Mid-South.  Once again, the results were above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for most sites.  Jonesboro checked in with the highest departure from normal at 6.6 degrees.  Likewise, Memphis and Jackson came in at 6.2 degrees above normal.  Tupelo was slightly cooler on average as its departure was 5.6 degrees above normal.  Much of the same for precipitation in December as all but one climate site came in below normal for the month, Tupelo being the only exception.  The largest rainfall departures from normal were -2.01 and -1.08 inches, for Memphis and Jonesboro respectively.  There was one significant winter weather event during the month of December as a strong upper level system moved through Christmas evening and into the following morning.  Some areas in northeast Arkansas received upwards of 12-14 inches of snowfall.  As for the official climate sites, Memphis International Airport reported 0.9 inches, Jackson McKellar Airport reported 0.5 inches, Tupelo Regional Airport reported a trace, and Jonesboro Regional Airport received the highest amount with 6.5 inches of snowfall.  Below are the monthly statistics for December:

Temperature Data:

                              Memphis   Jackson   Jonesboro   Tupelo

Average Temperature (DEC)   :   49.8      47.0       46.1      49.7

Normal Avg. Temp (DEC)      :   43.6      40.8       39.5      44.1

Departure from Normal (DEC) :    6.2       6.2        6.6       5.6

Average Temperature (YEAR)  :   65.8      62.2       63.7      64.5

Normal Avg. Temp (YEAR)     :   63.1      59.8       60.0      62.5

Departure from Normal (YEAR):    2.7       2.4        3.7       2.0

 

Precipitation Data:

                              Memphis   Jackson   Jonesboro   Tupelo

Total Precipitation (DEC)    :  3.73      4.38       3.69      7.09

Normal Precipitation (DEC)   :  5.74      5.35       4.77      6.28

Departure from Normal (DEC)  : -2.01     -0.97      -1.08      0.81

Total Precipitation (YEAR)   : 36.90     42.01      33.57     49.77

Normal Precipitation (YEAR)  : 53.68     53.27      48.10     55.01

Departure from Normal (YEAR) :-16.78    -11.26     -14.53     -5.24

 

Using the 1981-2012 set of normals, the following tables show rank, average temperature, departure, and its year of occurrence.

Top 10 warmest years through DECEMBER 31:

MEMPHIS                        JACKSON               

RNK     AVG     YR      DEP     RNK     AVG     YR      DEP

1       66.0    2012    3.1     1       62.6    1954    2.8

2       65.6    2007    2.7     2       62.3    2012    2.5

3       65.1    1998    2.2     3       62.2    1990    2.4

4       65.0    1921    2.1     4       62.1    1953    2.3

5       64.6    2005    1.7     5       61.9    2007    2.1

5       64.6    1999    1.7     6       61.7    1991    1.9

7       64.4    1990    1.5     7       61.6    1956    1.8

7       64.4    2006    1.5     8       61.5    1949    1.7

8       64.1    2011    1.2     9       61.3    1973    1.5

9       64.0    1933    1.1     9       61.3    1952    1.5

                                                    

JONESBORO                      TUPELO                

RNK     AVG     YR      DEP     RNK     AVG     YR      DEP

1       65.1    1921    5.2     1       65.0    2007    2.5

2       63.8    2012    3.9     2       64.9    1938    2.4

3       63.3    1954    3.4     3       64.8    1933    2.3

4       63.2    1998    3.3     4       64.6    2012    2.1

4       63.2    1931    3.3     5       64.5    2006    2.0

5       62.5    1922    2.6     5       64.5    1954    2.0

6       62.3    1941    2.4     6       64.2    1990    1.7

7       62.2    1932    2.3     7       64.1    1939    1.6

8       62.1    1986    2.2     7       64.1    1934    1.6

9       62.0    1939    2.1     8       64.0    1999    1.5

 

Using the 1981-2012 set of normals, the following tables show rank, average temperature, departure, and its year of occurrence.

Top 10 warmest DECEMBERS:

MEMPHIS                        JACKSON               

RNK     AVG     YR      DEP     RNK     AVG     YR      DEP

1       60.2    1889    16.6    1       51.0    1984    10.2

2       53.7    1984    10.1    2       49.5    1971    8.7

3       51.6    1931    8.0     3       48.9    1956    8.1

4       51.5    1923    7.9     4       47.7    1982    6.9

5       50.6    1971    7.0     5       47.0    2012    6.2

6       50.5    1877    6.9     6       46.4    1957    5.6

7       50.1    1918    6.5     7       45.8    1965    5.0

8       49.8    2012    6.2     8       45.5    1994    4.7

9       49.7    1875    6.1     8       45.5    2007    4.7

10      49.5    1933    5.9     9       45.1    1991    4.3

                                                    

JONESBORO                      TUPELO                

RNK     AVG     YR      DEP     RNK     AVG     YR      DEP

1       49.7    1923    10.2    1       54.1    1933    10.0

1       49.7    1931    10.2    2       53.3    1984    9.2

2       48.3    1956    8.8     3       53.1    1956    9.0

3       48.1    1933    8.6     4       52.4    1931    8.3

4       47.5    1957    8.0     5       50.6    1971    6.5

4       47.5    1971    8.0     6       50.4    1940    6.3

5       47.1    1965    7.6     7       50.2    1946    6.1

6       46.5    1918    7.0     8       50.2    1982    6.1

6       46.5    1921    7.0     9       49.7    2012    5.6

7       46.4    1982    6.9     10      49.1    2007    5.0

 

Significant Weather Events:

For DECEMBER 2012:  Drought conditions, although not severe, did not improve much during the month of December due to large rainfall deficits.  Most rivers across the region are flowing at around normal levels for this time of year.

The month of December produced one significant severe weather event across the Mid-South.  A strong cold front pushed through the region on December 9th producing a broken line of showers and thunderstorms, and one or two discrete mini supercells west of the Mississippi River.  A report of a Tornado was received by a trained spotter at 3:33 PM, 3 miles south-southwest of Imboden Arkansas.  This was followed by a subsequent report from the public of a house shifted from its foundation, and major damage to the second floor of the home.  Later in the evening as the front moved along the Mississippi River, reports of quarter sized hail were received.  A National Weather Service survey team arrived on site the following day and determined that intense straight line winds were the cause of the damage.

Portions of the Mid-South were treated to a late white Christmas in December of 2012.  A strong upper level disturbance and its associated surface low moved through the region late on Christmas night and into the following morning.  Heavy snow, along with strong winds produced blizzard conditions across portions of northeast Arkansas and the Missouri bootheel.  Elsewhere, slightly weaker winds, and lower snowfall amounts were the main impacts that were felt on the morning of December 26th.

 

December 2012 Precipitation Graphics:

 


 

CDG



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