<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> December 2012 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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St. Cloud 2012 Year at a Glance


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    (December 2012 Summary)

    Precipitation

    Temperature

    Snowfall

  1. Leap Day Snowstorm
  2. December 8-10 Storm

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for December 2012 and Annual Weather Summary for 2012

Snowy December Finishes Second Warmest Calendar Year

Despite finishing the month with 11 out of 12 days with colder than average temperature, December 2012 ended up resuming the warmer than average trend seen through the first half of the year. The average December temperature of 17.9°F was 2.0°F warmer than normal. That warmth was mostly fuelled by having 5 of the first 6 days of the month with highs of at least 40°F, including a high of 53°F on December 3.

The key to turning the temperatures around was the big storm that hit on December 8-10. This storm produced 11.4 inches of snow, including 11.0 inches on December 9, a new December daily record for calendar day snowfall. It was the heaviest snowfall to hit St. Cloud since the Christmas week storm of 2009 (12.7 inches over 4 days).

The main effect of the new snow cover is to reflect 90% of the sun's energy back to space, making it much harder to warm up. It's no accident that all 13 colder than average days were recorded after that snowstorm. It included 11 days with a low of zero or colder, already more than the total number of sub-zero lows during the 2011-2012 winter (10, least in St. Cloud records). Note that there are just short of 10 sub-zero lows in an average December.

The total snowfall during December was 15.0 inches, 11.4 of which fell during the December 9-10 snowstorm. That is the 14th highest December snowfall of the 113 Decembers on record in St. Cloud. The snow total has gone through incredible extremes just in the past two snow seasons. December 2010 was the sixth snowiest December with 21.0 inches, but December 2011 had only 2.8 inches of snowfall. In fact, during last December, there were few days with snow cover, so St. Cloud ended up with two of its latest highs of at least 45 degrees, including 49 degrees on December 26. This warmth continued to the start of January as St. Cloud had its earliest 50 degree high of the year on January 3.

The heavy snowfall accounted for some, but not all of the December precipitation. There was a total of 1.50 inch of melted precipitation in December, nearly double the average amount. Much of it, 0.87 inch, fell during the December 9-10 snowfall, setting a record for December 9 precipitation. However, much of the .44 inch that fell on December 15 fell in the form of rain. The 1.50 inch total was more than any single month since July 2012.

 



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All climate data provided courtesy of NOAA/NWS
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and Minnesota Climatology Working Group, including the Minnesota State Climatologist's Office, University of Minnesota-Saint Paul Campus.

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Last updated: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 12:03 PM
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