Science with Sarah: This Year's Winter - Record or no?

    5:32 PM, Feb 14, 2014   |    comments
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    From school closings to wrecked cars- this year's winter weather has gone from small talk to the talk of the town. Compared to the average, Arkansas' winter so far may or may not catch you by surprise.

    December 2013 saw more snowy than normal, and it was the 3rd year in a row in which that month produced snow in Arkansas. The snow didn't stick around though, temperatures jumped in December from record highs to record cold afternoons as well. Since the temperatures were all over the place, the average temperature came out even: December's average was 42.9 degrees, the normal for the month is 43 degrees, only leaving Dec. 2013 only one-tenth of a degree cooler than normal.

    January came in with the cold! The month was very dry and the average morning temperature was about 7 degrees colder than it should be.

    We're halfway through February and the pattern is certainly more active. Rainfall total since January 1st is below when February started but we've caught up and surpassed the average in the rain gauge.

    The winter season so far has collected 4 inches of snow in Little Rock but it doesn't compare to the almost 11 inches of 2012/2013.

    As far as the temperatures go, they have been as cold as they seem. We're at about an average of 38 degrees when you consider the morning lows and afternoon highs; the coldest ever was recorded in 1977/1978 at 36 degrees.

    Given these averages, if winter ended on February 14th we would finish 5th for coldest winter ever.


    1. 1977-1978 - 35.9 ºF
    2. 1978-1979 - 37.2 ºF
    3. 1904-1905 - 37.3 ºF
    4. 1917-1918 - 37.4 ºF
    5. 1898-1899 - 37.7 ºF
    6. 1935-1936 - 37.8 ºF
    7. 1983-1984 - 38.0 ºF
    8. 1885-1886 - 38.1 ºF
    9. 1901-1902 - 38.4 ºF
    10. 1962-1963 - 38.4 ºF
    NORMAL - 50.5 ºF

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