The month of December 2009 definitely put an end to the Fall-like temperatures of November as snow and cold finally arrived. The first Winter storm on the 9th dropped 11 inches of snow and the daytime high temperatures began to stay consistently below freezing. We also had our first sub zero day on the 18th as the overnight temperature fell to 12 degrees below zero.
The average high temperature was 29.6 degrees and the average low was 13.2 degrees, giving us an average temperature of 21.4 degrees - 2.7 degrees below normal and the 5th coldest on record. The coldest was in 1989 when the average was only 8 degrees and the warmest was in 2006 when the average was 31.5 degrees. The highest temperature was 54 degrees recorded on the 3rd and the lowest was -12 degrees recorded on the 18th. There were five days with readings below zero compared to an average of three. Incidentally, in that cold December of 1989 there were 19 days with below zero readings - an all-time record for any month. This year there were 1351.5 degree days bringing the seasonal total to 3111.
Melted precipitation was above normal with 4.99 inches being recorded - 1.78 inches above normal and the 6th wettest on record. This brings our seasonal total to 45.22 inches - 3.2 inches above normal. The wettest December was in 1983 when 6.57 inches were measured and the driest was in 1989 when only 0.97 inches were recorded. Measurable precipitation fell on 15 days with the greatest amount of 1.29 inches, falling on the 3rd. The nearly 5 inches of precipitation could have produced nearly 50 inches of snow. However, some of it fell as rain and only 20.5 inches of snow was measured - 3.3 inches above normal. Our seasonal snowfall total is also 20.5 inches as none fell in November.
The river reached its highest level of 5.47 feet on the 4th and its lowest level of 3.35 feet on the 22nd and the 23rd.