2013 in review

By Meteorologist Mike Skurko

Now that Thursday night’s snowstorm is behind us, we now have some time to look at the numbers for 2013.  Despite all of our ups and downs weather-wise over the last year, things found away to even out back to normal.  Every arctic blast in the winter was cancelled out by a heat wave in the summer; every mild spell in the spring was evened out by a cold snap in the fall.

When all was said and done, our high temperatures just averaged 1/15 of a degree above normal … an incredibly small number even when its averaged out over the year (2012 finished a full 2.9 degrees above normal).  Low temperatures were about 0.3 degrees above normal, and total precipitation was at 51.51 inches … 5.86 inches above normal.

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2013’s biggest weather headline was the February blizzard.  On Friday, February 8th, a true blizzard slammed southern New England, and dumped more than two feet of snow on the Pioneer Valley.  Final snowfall reports from that event are archived on the weather blog here.

After 57 inches of snowfall for the winter of 2012-2013, the above-normal precipitation trend continued in the summer, as seen above.  More than 10 inches of rain fell in June, sending the Pioneer Valley to it’s second-wettest summer on record.

Fortunately, in terms of severe weather, the summer of 2013 was rather quiet compared to the last couple of years.  The biggest headline for western Mass was a microburst in Agawam.  And good news up-and-down the east coast, it was unusually quiet in the tropics.  Only two category one hurricanes formed in the Atlantic, neither making landfall in the U.S.

The abundance of moisture over the summer kept things green, and sunnier skies through early fall meant great news for seasonal businesses, such as golf courses, local vineyards, and the fall foliage.

The next seasonal businesses to take care of are the ski resorts.  December fell just shy of a new monthly snowfall record, a good jump start to the season, and the snow from Thursday night’s storm should provide an excellent base for the new year.

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