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December 2012 Cracks Top 10 For Warmth

OSWEGO, NY – By Oswego standards, December 2012 was a bit balmy.

The average temperature last month was 35.4 degrees. That is 5.7 degrees warmer than average, according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

Going back to 1854, it ranks as the 7th warmest Decembers in Oswego history, Gregway said.

However, it’s not really a biggie, he added.

The warmest is 37.0 degrees (2006) and the next warmest is 36.9 degrees (2001).

The highest temperature last month was 68 degrees on the 4th and the lowest was 15 degrees on the 26th.

The 68 broke the record for that date (62 degrees) in 1941 and 1982.

There were also 2 days when it was in the 50s.

December also saw 18 times when the overnight low was below freezing.

“That’s really not a big deal, either,” Gregway said. “It’s December.”

Total precipitation for the month was 6.68 inches. That is 2.88 more than average.

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 1.09 inches on the 21st. There was also 1.03 inches on the 27th that was the (melted) snow, Gregway noted.

For the year, total precipitation wound up at 38.75 inches. That is 4.18 inches below average.

Measurable precipitation fell on 19 days with a streak of 11 days in a row to close out December.

There was just a trace on 3 days and no precipitation fell on 9 days, including a streak of 4 in a row.

Snowfall for the month came in at 29.8 inches, which is 3.7 inches below average.

For the winter season, at the end of December, snowfall stands at 34.9 inches. That is 8.1 inches below average.

The greatest snowfall in a 24-hour period was 13.0 inches on the 27th which resulted in the large precipitation number.

“It snowed the last 11 days of the month,” Gregway said. “That’s really when winter got rolling and gave us a white Christmas.”

There were no thunderstorm days and no foggy days last month. Both of which are normal.

December had snow pellets 2 times and ice pellets on 1 day.

The area received 22 percent of the possible amount of sunshine. That is 3 percentages above average.

The number of cloudy days, 24, was 1 below average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 6, was 1 above average.

The number of clear days, 1, was normal.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.44 on the 13th and the lowest was 29.13 on the 21st.

The strongest winds were west-northwesterly 35 to 40 mph (with higher gusts) on the 22nd.

The highest temperature in December was 69 degrees on the 7th of 1998. The lowest was -23 degrees at the end of December 1933.

The wettest is 10.49 inches in 1878. The driest is 1.02 inches in 1876.

The most precipitation in a 24-hour period in December is 2.81 inches in 1878 and it is followed by 2.50 inches in 1958.

The average snowfall for December is 33.5 inches. The most snowfall in December was recorded in 1958 (85.8 inches) and the least is 2.9 inches in 1911.

The greatest snowfall in a 24-hour period in December is 48+ inches in 1958.