The meteorological winter is drawing to a close tonight as we enter March. The meteorological winter goes from Dec. 1 to Mar. 1 each year. We often hear of the first day of winter being Dec. 21 and the first day of spring being March 20 (this year). These are the first days of astronomical winter and spring. Dec. 21 is the longest night of the year and on March 20, the day and night are about equal. At solar noon, the sun will be over the equator, that is why it is called the Vernal Equinox. Anyway, before the winter started, I made some predictions about how the weather would go in Toledo. I even made predictions back in the summer. For anyone that I told, if you remember, I had trouble making the prediction. When the Pacific Decadal Oscillation went negative a few years ago, it meant more cold winters in the Great Lakes. But, this year was an El Nino year. In the summer it was tough to tell how strong El Nino would be. Well, the US did feel the effects of El Nino with storms coming into California and going across the south and then up the east coast. That is why there was so much snow in the south and the east coast. Most of the drought conditions in California, Texas and Florida have been eradicated. That’s cool. So, I predicted a colder than average winter with much hesitation. So, I was wrong by not that far off.
The winter in much of the US was colder than normal. In Toledo however, we were just slightly above average by 0.33 degrees F. That is pretty much average if you ask me. I have been keeping track of the monthly average temperature values in Toledo since 2008. If we look at the past couple of years, 2008 was warmer than average by 0.33 degrees F for the entire year and the winter temps were slightly above average as well. 2009 was right on average for the entire year but the winter was much below average in particular because January was a very cold month (7 degrees F below average).