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December & Year 2012  

  • The record warm mean temperature of 72°F set on 12/02/2012 is the warmest mean temperature on record in McAlester.  The previous record was 70°F on 12/01/1982, 12/05/1998, and 12/30/1992.
  • Using the radar-derived estimated observed precipitation from the RFCs, rainfall totals for December 2012 ranged from around 0.25” near the OK/KS state line to around 4” in southern Franklin County. This represents 75% or less of the normal December rainfall for most of eastern OK and northwest AR. The low totals near the OK/KS state line resulted in portions of Pawnee, Osage, Washington, Nowata, and Craig Counties receiving only 10%-25% of the normal December rainfall this month.
  • A winter storm developed over the southern plains on Christmas Day, bringing a mixture of winter weather to eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. Heavy snow fell over parts of southeast Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Other areas received periods of light sleet and freezing rain.  Additional Christmas Day temperature, rainfall, and snowfall information: Tulsa, Fort Smith, and Fayetteville.
  • No river flooding occurred this month.
  • According to the Drought Monitor from January 1, 2013, all of eastern OK and northwest AR was in Severe to Exceptional drought. Exceptional (D4) drought was occurring over portions of Osage, Pawnee, Creek, western Tulsa, and Washington Counties in eastern OK. Severe (D2) drought was present across portions of Ottawa, eastern Craig, and Delaware Counties in eastern OK, and Benton, northern Carroll, Crawford, and northern Franklin Counties in northwest AR. Extreme drought (D3) conditions existed across the remainder of the area.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, December 2012 was the 17th driest for northeast Oklahoma, the 30th driest for east central Oklahoma, and the 40th driest for southeast Oklahoma. Records go back to 1921.
Annual 2012 - Record warm year!
  • In 2012, Tulsa, Fort Smith, Fayetteville, the state of Oklahoma, and the contiguous United States all recorded their warmest year on record!  2012 was the 2nd warmest year for the state of Arkansas.
  • Tulsa: 2012 was the RECORD warmest (64.7°F; since 1905), the 16th driest (28.74"; since 1888), and the 14th least snowiest (1.7", tied 1991, 1974, 1936, 1904; since 1900) Year on record.  The previous record for warmest year was 63.7°F in 1954 and 1921.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, 2012 was the 9th driest for northeast Oklahoma, the 13th driest for east central Oklahoma, and the 5th driest for southeast Oklahoma. Records go back to 1921.
  • 16 tornadoes occurred in eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas in 2012.  Information about these tornadoes and other significant weather events in 2012 can be found on this weather events website.
Outlook
  • The Climate Prediction Center CPC outlook for January 2013 (issued December 31, 2012) indicates an enhanced chance for above normal temperatures and equal chances for above, near, and below median precipitation across all of eastern OK and northwest AR. This outlook is based primarily on short-range computer models. However, indications are that January 15-21 have increased odds of below normal temperatures and long-range computer models hint at colder than normal temperatures at the end of the month. 2-week forecasts for both the Arctic (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillations (NAO) show negative values, which can allow the colder Canadian air to move much further south into the U.S.
  • For the 3-month period Jan-Feb-Mar 2013, CPC is forecasting an enhanced chance for above normal temperatures and an equal chance for above, near, and below median precipitation across all of eastern OK and northwest AR (outlook issued December 20, 2012). This outlook is primarily based on dynamic computer model output.
  • According to CPC, ENSO neutral conditions were observed in late December and are expected to continue through Spring 2013.
 

 


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