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A month to remember

December 2008 was a month to remember as a record amount of snow was recorded, reminding many of "how winters used to be when I was a kid." It was also a very White Christmas as 22 inches were on the ground that day.

Outdoor winter sports were off to a great start as snowmobile trails and the ski trails at Gore Mountain Ski Center were well covered with a snow depth of nearly 30 inches.

Snow was the big story of the month as a whopping 42 inches fell, the most on record dating back to 1981. This was 24.9 inches above the normal of 17.1 inches. The previous record snowfall was 35.4 inches recorded in 2003. The smallest amount was 3.3 inches recorded in 2006. Our seasonal total is now 50.9 inches.The largest storm was the 14.3 inches that fell Dec. 19-20. This area averages about one 10-plus-inches snowfall a year.

Melted precipitation was also above normal as one would expect with so much snow, but not a record. The melted precipitation was 5.08 inches, 1.93 inches above normal and the fifth highest on record. The greatest amount, 6.57 inches, was measured in 1983 and the least, 0.97, was measured in 1989. There was measurable melted precipitation on 20 days with the greatest amount, 0.81 inches, measured on the 20th. Our yearly total for 2008 is 46.51 inches, 4.6 inches above the normal of 41.91 inches. This has been a good year for ground water as 4.6 inches of precipitation is about equivalent to an extra month of rain.

Temperatures were below normal as you also would expect with the amount of snow that fell. The average high was 30.2 and the average low was 16.0 degrees, giving an average of 23.1 degrees, 1.1 degrees below normal. The highest temperature, 42 degrees, was recorded Dec. 1 and 15, and the lowest, -8 degrees, was recorded Dec. 23. There were three days with below zero readings which is about average. There were 1298.5 degree days recorded in December, bringing our seasonal total to 3060.

The river reached its highest level, 5.67 feet, Dec. 30 and its lowest level, 3.62 feet, Dec. 9.

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