Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Spring Weather Scorecard for Cleveland, Ohio

Our meteorological spring (March through May) has continued the unsettled pattern we established in winter somewhat. Temperatures have seemed cooler. Rainfall amounts have seemed above normal. What do the numbers say? Where does this spring rank over the last 30 years?  How about all-time?

Our average high temperatures this spring are running slightly cooler than last year. It has been the 7th coolest spring last 30 years and 67th warmest on the all-time (143 years of record keeping). Remember two years ago? 2012 was the warmest spring EVER.  Yet 2008 and 2005 were COOLER.

How about rainfall? The recent rains and flash flooding give us the perception that this spring was record-setting. This spring ranks 9th wettest over the last 30 years.  We forget 2011. That was the wettest spring EVER. Look at the years circled in green below. The springs in 2011, 2008, 2004, 2003 and 2002 were wetter than this year.

What does this tell us about this upcoming summer?  Not much. Can we use heavy spring rainfall as a predictor of the number of 90 degree days in the upcoming summer?  Not really. In the summers that followed in those wet spring years, here is the 90 degree day breakdown: 

2011:  12
2008:    6
2004:    1
2003:    5
2002:  17

So spring rains are not an accurate predictor of 90 degree days in summer. What we are continuing to watch is the evolving El Nino. I wrote extensively about El Nino and summer outlooks in April and early May HERE, HERE and HERE so check out those links. The outlook for slightly below normal temperatures this summer still stands.

Feedback is always welcome.