The Star-Herald

December finishes with above normal temperatures, below average precipitation

CARIBOU, Maine — Kristen Hewitt said that her two children were excited when November brought significant snow for Christmas.


“There was a big storm in late November,” she said. “Schools were canceled and the kids were out making snowmen. But then there was a big rainstorm in mid-December, and it wiped out a lot of the snowpack.”

Indeed, December 2019 finished with above-normal temperatures and below-average precipitation and snowfall for the region as a whole, according to the National Weather Service in Caribou.

Temperatures averaged from 0.5 to 2.5 degrees above normal for the month. Lower temperatures occurred during early and mid to late month with mild temperatures dominating the rest of the month.

The high temperature for the month — 49 degrees — occurred on Dec. 10. The lowest — 2 degrees below zero — occurred on Dec. 2. The record high for December — 58 degrees — occurred on Dec. 12, 1950. The record low — 31 degrees below zero — occurred on Dec. 30, 1989.

Across the north, the most significant snowfall only occurred on Dec. 3 and Dec. 31, while Down East areas experienced significant snowfall on Dec. 3, Dec 17-19 and Dec.31.

The snowpack was above normal at the beginning of the month, according to the National Weather Service, but it saw a major reduction due to rainfall on Dec 10-11 and Dec. 14-15.

For the month as a whole, the snowpack across the region was near average, but it ranged from a low of three inches from Dec 16 until Dec. 22 at Caribou to a high of 16 inches on Dec. 3 at Bangor.

A total of 2.91 inches of precipitation was observed, which was 0.36 inches below average. The most precipitation ever observed in December was 7.97 inches, which occurred in 1973. The least was 0.74 in 1963.

Since July 1, 40.9 inches of snowfall has fallen, according to the National Weather Service.

That is still 17.9 inches below the snowiest winter ever in 1972.

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