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December 2015 sets five weather records in Kenmare

Okay folks, the month just past won’t be Kenmare’s warmest on record. In fact, the average temperature for the month is not even close.

1/05/16 (Tue)


Pouring concrete in January... A construction crew from Mid Valley concrete Pumping in Williston appears to have a daunting task ahead of them as they begin pouring the floor for the new vo-ag building at Kenmare High School Monday. They chose the right January day as the temperature peaked at 30 degrees in Kenmare. January appears to be picking up where December left off as mild winter conditions continue.

Editor’s note: A month ago we published an article about the five warmest Decembers in Kenmare’s history with 2015 stacking up to finish in the top five, which it did. The 2015 temperatures are not official, but don’t deviate a lot from the projected temperatures we provided at the beginning of December. All temperatures before 2015 are official and were provided by the Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge.

By Marvin Baker

Okay folks, the month just past won’t be Kenmare’s warmest on record. In fact, the average temperature for the month is not even close.

The year 2015 ended with an average temperature of 23.8, making it the third warmest December in Kenmare’s history, and a full 3 degrees colder than the warmest December on record, 1997.

The average daytime high for December 2015 was 30.9 and the average overnight low was 16.7.

However, five records were set last month when there were three consecutive days that reached into the 50s, Dec. 7-9; a total of five days reached into the 50, it had the highest temperature in the six warmest years we chronicled last month at 58, but fell short of the all-time December high of 65, set in 1939, 2015 had the most nights above freezing at four and had the coldest Christmas Eve at 8 below zero.

This past December really started out like it might break the record, but since Dec. 23, temperatures have tanked, barely reaching averages, dropping the overall average temperature for the month.

December 1997 was by far, the warmest December on record in Kenmare with an average of 26.9 degrees through the month.

The average daytime high that year was 34.3 and the average overnight low was 19.5, which is 2.8 degrees above this past December.

In 1999, we had the second warmest December ever with an average temperature of 24.7.

That year had the highest daytime average for the month of December at 34.4 degrees, but had the third highest overnight low at 15.1 degrees.

2011 came in fourth with an average temperature of 23 degrees. The daytime average in 2011 was 31.4 degrees and the average overnight low was 14.6.

Many of us recall 1982 being an exceptionally warm December, but it turns out the entire winter was well above average, but the month of December falls into fifth place on Kenmare’s all-time list for warm Decembers.

The average daytime high in 1982 was 25.5 degrees and the average overnight low was 7.5 degrees for an average monthly temperature of 16.5 degrees.

It’s no surprise that 1936 was at the bottom of the six warmest Decembers.

The average daytime temperature that month was 21.8 and the average overnight low was 5.7 for an average of 13.7 degrees.

It may have been a much warmer month, but unfortunately 1936 has the dubious distinction of three records like this past month, but on the opposite end of the scale.

That year, at the end of the Great Depression, had the lowest temperature of the six years at 28 below zero. It featured the most consecutive nights below zero at 6 and had the most nights below zero at 11.

Following are some more quirky statistics from Decembers past:

• Warmest Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1999, 46 degrees.

• Warmest Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 1999, 44 degrees.

• Consecutive days in the 40s, Dec. 24-29, 1999.

• Consecutive nights below zero, Dec. 3-8, 1936 and Dec. 8-13, 1982.

• Fewest nights below zero, zero, 1997. In fact, that was the only month in which the temperature didn’t go below zero. The coldest temperature in December 1997 was 6 degrees on Dec. 3.

• Warmest day to start December, 1982 at 44 degrees.

• Warmest New Year’s Eve, 1997 at 28 degrees.

• Coldest day to start December, 2011 at 32.

• Coldest New Year’s Eve, 1936 at -3.

• 1936 was the only one of the six featured years that had below zero overnight lows and below zero daytime highs. Dec. 6, 28 and 29 didn’t reach above zero with the warmest of those three days at -1 on Dec. 6.

• Greatest spread in temperature, 33 degrees on Dec. 24, 1936.

• Days and nights that didn’t freeze; Dec. 24 and 28, 1999 and Dec. 4, 9, 10, 2015.

• Of the 186 days recorded, only one had the same daytime high and overnight low at 33 degrees, Dec. 10, 2015.

• Only two nights had an overnight low of zero, Dec. 9, 1936 and Dec. 7, 1982.

• There were 10 instances in which there were two consecutive days with the same temperature.

 • And finally, 1999 was the only year that featured nine consecutive days above freezing to end the month. Dec. 23-31 all reached above freezing, the highest at 51 on Dec. 29, with the previous night with an overnight low of 37... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!