2/2/12 December Weather Summary - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

2/2/12 December Weather Summary

Posted: Updated:

West Virginia Climate Summary, December 2011:

A Mild Wet End to a Warm, Wet Year

Although December featured many dry days, two storms provided enough moisture -- mostly rain -- to result

in a warm, wet month for the Mountain State as a whole. Some of the heaviest precipitation fell on December

7, when Bluefield (1.71 inches) and Martinsburg (1.46 inches) netted daily-record totals. Elkins (1.80 inches)

also received a daily-record amount for the 7th, along with 4.2 inches of snow. Farther south, nearly three-

quarters (4.7 of 6.4 inches) of Beckley's December snowfall occurred on the 7th. The dearth of snow left most

of West Virginia without a White Christmas in 2011; only the state's highest peaks reported any coverage at

all on December 25. A few days later, on December 27, a storm system dumped more than an inch of rain on

locations such as Huntington (1.15 inches) and Morgantown (1.11 inches). By month's end, both Charleston

and Huntington continued to await their first measurable snow of the season.

The two aforementioned storms produced enough precipitation to boost monthly totals to near- or above-normal

levels across most of the state. The fairly wet finish to 2011 capped one of the Mountain State's wettest

years on record. According to preliminary information provided by the National Climatic Data Center, West

Virginia experienced its sixth-wettest year during the 1895-2011 period of record, with a state average of

nearly 54 inches of precipitation. That value was more than 9 inches above the long-term mean, and marked

West Virginia's wettest year since 2004. Meanwhile, December temperatures generally averaged 4 to 6 degrees

F above normal at the state's major observation sites. For 2011, West Virginia's average temperature of

53.4 degrees F was 1.6 degrees F above the mean and represented the 11th-warmest year during the 117-year

period of record. According to NCDC, it was West Virginia's warmest year since 1998.

Only the state's highest mountains failed to reach 60 degrees F at some point during the month, with some

places approaching 70 degrees F on December 4. Charleston reached 69 degrees F on the 4th. A week later,

a brief cool snap lowered temperatures below 20 degrees F in most locations on December 11, when Elkins

noted 11 degrees F and Beckley, Huntington, and Parkersburg dipped to 17 degrees F. However, another warm

spell around mid-month boosted temperatures to 66 degrees F (on December 14) in Bluefield and 64 degrees F

(on December 15) in Martinsburg.

Preliminary Station Data, December 2011*

Temperatures (Degrees F), Precipitation (Inches), and Departures from Normal

WV Station Avg Dep Hi / Lo Temp (Dates) Pcpn Dep. % Nml Snow

Beckley 39.9 +5.7 63 (15th) / 17 (11th) 4.01 +1.01 134 6.4

Bluefield 43.0 +5.8 66 (14th) / 20 (11th) 4.11 +1.20 141 2.3

Charleston 42.5 +5.1 69 (4th) / 19 (11th) 3.43 +0.16 105 Trace

Elkins 37.8 +4.8 65 (4th) / 11 (11th) 3.74 +0.48 115 5.2

Huntington 42.0 +5.0 66 (4th) / 17 (11th) 3.33 +0.02 101 Trace

Martinsburg 40.1 +5.9 64 (15th) / 17 (12th) 2.77 +0.06 102 N/A

Morgantown 40.6 +5.8 67 (5th) / 18 (11th) 3.95 +1.04 136 N/A

Parkersburg 40.2 +5.0 65 (4th) / 17 (11th) 3.04 -0.06 98 N/A

Nearby Stns Avg Dep Hi / Lo Temp (Dates) Pcpn Dep. % Nml Snow

Blacksburg, VA 39.4 +2.7 65 (15th) / 14 (11th) 3.62 +0.67 123 Trace

Hagerstown, MD 39.8 +3.4 60 (15th, 16th) / 20 (12th) 2.78 -0.11 96 N/A

Jackson, KY 43.5 +3.6 67 (14th) / 21 (11th) 4.18 0.00 100 0.4

Pittsburgh, PA 37.5 +4.0 61 (5th) / 16 (11th) 2.47 -0.38 87 1.2

Zanesville, OH 37.7 +3.6 62 (21st) / 15 (11th) 3.65 +1.07 141 N/A

* Preliminary station data were supplied by National Weather Service offices in Blacksburg, VA, Charleston,

WV, Pittsburgh, PA, Sterling, VA, and Jackson, KY. Compiled by Brad Rippey, Agricultural Meteorologist,

U.S. Department of Agriculture.