Crozet Weather Almanac: A Carolina December

Chart courtesy Roscoe Shaw and Heidi Sonen.
Chart courtesy Roscoe Shaw and Heidi Sonen.

by Roscoe Shaw and Heidi Sonen

2011 went out like a lamb with mild weather from start to finish.  We averaged 4.5 degrees above normal and not a flake of snow fell.  We did get a brief moment of sleet on the 16th but the temperature was 42 degrees.

Oddly enough for such a warm month, we had a lot of cool mornings with 21 sub-freezing days. But we haven’t seen the teens since February 11 of last year when we dropped to 9 degrees. All in all, the month was a perfectly normal December for South Carolina, not Virginia.

Actually, it’s not that odd to have a snowless December. It happened recently in 2006, 2004, and 2001. Our 109-year database shows 73 Decembers with some snow and 36 without. The snowiest was 1989 with 26 inches and just two years ago we had 23 inches on our way to break most annual snow records.

The odd thing is that we got snow in October. Recently, I had a woman who shall remain nameless complain to me that the weather just hasn’t been like it used to be and that it never snows anymore. I politely reminded her that we had a historic early snow in October and that just two years ago we set an all time record for snow. She was unimpressed and left convinced that it just doesn’t snow anymore. Heidi and I have heard this same complaint everywhere we have lived since we were kids.

Rainfall was about normal for the month. Totals from around the area:

  • Crozet  3.71”
  • Ivy  4.24”
  • Charlottesville Airport  4.36″
  • White Hall  3.53”
  • UVA  5.39″
  • Afton  4.25″
  • Waynesboro  4.27″

What will happen in January?

Heidi and I don’t have a clue beyond a week and neither do the Farmer’s Almanac, the wooly worms, or grandma’s knee. Not knowing is half the fun.  Have a great 2012!