Ithaca Climate Summary for December 1998
- With an average temperature of 33.9 degrees, the month of December 1998 averaged 6.3 degrees warmer than normal.
- This was the 4th warmest December on record.
- The first 22 days of the month were exceptionally warm, averaging 10.5 degrees warmer than normal. The last 9 days brought much colder temperatures and averaged 4 degrees colder than normal.
- Eleven of the year's twelve months had a monthly temperature that averaged warmer than normal.
- The average temperature for the year was 49.4 degrees (3.5 degrees warmer than normal) - the warmest year since records began in 1873. The previous warmest year was 1990 with an average temperature of 48.9 degrees.
- The warmest temperature of the month was 69 degrees on the 6th. The was a record for the day and also the warmest temperature ever recorded in the month of December.
- The coldest temperature of the month was 4 degrees on the 23rd.
- Several temperature records were broken during the first week of the month:
|Date||New record||Old record
|December 2 ||65 ||64 in 1914
|December 4 (tie) ||64 ||64 in 1973
|December 6 ||69 ||68 in 1982
|December 7 ||66 ||62 in 1951
- December precipitation totalled 1.21 inches, which was only 47% of normal.
- This was the driest December since 1989.
- This was the sixth consecutive drier than normal month.
- The year-to-date precipitation total of 34.14 inches was just 1.26 inches less than normal.
- Precipitation for the second half of the year (July-December) was 64% of normal and the 7th driest such period in 120 years of record.
- December snowfall totalled 5.1 inches. This was 10.3 inches below the monthly normal.
- During the month, new records were set for:
- Latest date of the first measurable snowfall: December 18
(Old record: December 2, 1966 and December 2, 1927)
- Latest date of the first inch of snow: December 18
(Old record: December 14, 1979)
- Longest period between measurable snowfalls: 269 days (March 24-December 17)
(Old record: 250 days - March 27-December 1, 1927)
- Seasonal snowfall is also 5.1 inches. This 16.1 inches less than normal and the second least amount through this point in the season in at least 50 years (least was 4 inches in 1994).
Keith L. Eggleston (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Northeast Regional Climate Center