December 2018 Summary:
Warmer, Drier Than Normal with Below Normal Snowfall..........
Here are the December weather records taken at the television station:
The Purdue Airport:
After a 12-hour spring on December 1 with t'storms & the Tornado Warning for Warren & Benton counties, the first part of December was cold & winter-like with even some snow (up to 1.5" in the area on the 6th).
However, mid-December onward was overall mild & pretty dry. In fact, farmers were doing fieldwork & finishing up some patches of corn & soybean harvest on & just prior to Christmas. The ground was dry enough to work, do strip-tilling & ammonia application.
That changed at the end of the month with two rounds of rainfall & the wettest day overall for the viewing area since November 1 on December 31 with mild weather.
13 of the 31 days saw mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies, which is not bad for December, which is typically gloomy.
Two non-t'storm wind events struck the area within a 5-day period as two powerhouse storms blasted through. One brought a major Plains & western Corn Belt blizzard just after Christmas & the other brought heavy snowfall, then wind chills to -50 in parts of the Plains at the end of the month.
December 27 wind event brought gusts as high as 63 mph to the area, while the December 31 event brought gusts as high as 51 mph. The December 27 event caused wind damage in a strip from Montgomery to Clinton to southern Miami counties with shingles blown off roofs & trees, tree limbs & some powerlines downed.
A shift from cold phase MJO & negative NAO to AO to warm, wet phase MJO & more positive NAO & AO & negative PNA brought the milder pattern, though nothing was even close to recording-breaking.
Top 5 Events of the Month:
1. Two Non-T'Storm Wind Events
December 27 Measured Gusts:
TIPMONT outages early evening, December 27:
December 31 Measured Gusts:
2. Leftovers of Historic Illinois Tornado Outbreak December 1:
Several reports of pea-sized hail with thunder & lightning occurred, along with a cell with strong low-level rotation from west of Pine Village in Warren County to southeastern Benton counties, which prompted a Tornado Warning. This was a 12-hour spring (50s to as high as 61), as temperatures cooled quickly afterward.
Images courtesy: Iowa State University:
3. Heaviest Daily Rainfall in Two Months December 31:
4. December Fieldwork for Some Around Christmas:
The ground was dry enough for fall tillage, late harvesting & strip-tilling for spring planting preparation. I know I was able to work ground in my nursery beds like spring, just prior to Christmas & plant Yellow Birch seeds. The dry stretch allowed farmers to squeeze in late, late season work. It is rare around to be able to do fieldwork around Christmas!
This was part of the drier period with multiple days of sunshine & dry winds December 10-26.
Image courtesy: Tyne Morgan:
Several days mid-month were dry, bright & chilly, but above normal.
5. The Only Snowfall of Any Consequence for the Month: December 6
Snowfall for the month of the December was below normal for the viewing area after above normal snowfall & the greatest number of days in November with snow flakes in nearly 50 years.
Snowfall on the 6th amounted to up to 1.5" in the southeast to less than 0.4" in the northwest.
1.2" Southeast of Lafayette
0.7" West Lafayette (WLFI)
0.5" Pine Village
0.5" Battle Ground
Snow pics around the television station & just down the road!