Verifying what we’ve already known from news reports and global metrics (it was a cooler than expected winter nationwide and worldwide) NOAA just issued a press release saying that we had the 54th coolest Winter since records began in 1895.
In the contiguous United States, the average winter temperature was 33.2°F (0.6°C), which was 0.2°F (0.1°C) above the 20th century average – yet still ranks as the coolest since 2001. It was the 54th coolest winter since national records began in 1895.
With 113 complete years of records, 54th would put it slightly below the mean position of 56.5. While there was a lot of worldwide cold and snow events, the map of the USA shows that much of the southeast had a very mild winter, which fits with the kind of pattern seen with La Nina.
Click for larger image
NOAA also has detailed analyses of January 2008 and February 2008 available online. January came in 49th coolest on record, and February came in at xx coolest. I say that since NOAA didn’t offer a similar “coolest” comparison for Feburary, opting instead to highlight the “54th coolest winter” in the February 2008 analysis. But NOAA did say:
February was 61st warmest in the contiguous U.S. and 15th warmest globally on record.
I wonder why they switched descriptions from “49th coolest” one month to “61st warmest” the next?