Weather as Recorded at the UMass Cranberry Station
Prepared by Carolyn DeMoranville
Much like last year, December 2015 was very warm, cloudy and wet. However, this year we moved into record warmth. The temperature averaged 45.7 degrees, 13.9 degrees per day above the 30-year average! Maximum temperature was 65.3 degrees on the 24th; a minimum temperature of 24.8 degrees was recorded on the 1st. Daytime high temperatures averaged 53.0 degrees, 9.9 degrees above the norm. Evening temperatures averaged 38.5 degrees, 13.1 degrees above the norm. This was our warmest December in the 89 years of our record keeping; the 2015 December monthly average was 5.6° higher than the previous record (2001). Four of our five warmest Decembers have occurred in the past 14 years.
Precipitation totaled 7.09 inches, 2.66 inches above normal and 1.12 inches more than December 2014. We recorded 11 days with more than 0.1 inches of rain. The largest rainfall was 2.93 inches from the 22nd to the 24th. Total rainfall for 2015 was 43.74 inches, 6.58 inches below average for East Wareham and 13.24 inches less than the total rainfall for 2014. There was one day with measurable snow this month - 0.4 inches on the 29th. Normal snowfall for the month of December in East Wareham is 6.9 inches.
Sunshine for the month (recorded at the Blue Hills Observatory) was very low, totaling 34% of possible, 12 points below the norm. There were only two days with 90% or greater sunshine hours and 13 days with no sunshine at all. There were 17 days where we recorded foggy conditions in East Wareham.
Year End Summary
The year 2015 had well-below average rainfall; the driest year since 2004. However, we also saw well above average snowfall at the beginning of the year with an annual total of 85.3 inches, the second highest total recorded at East Wareham since 1953. As a yearly average, temperature was near normal. However, this is deceiving - the first three months of 2015 were very cold, while the last two (especially December) were very warm; the other months were a bit above normal on average. Despite the very gloomy December, annual sunshine was only 4 points below the norm. Winter was cold and snowy, spring and summer were warm and dry, and we ended the year with very wet and warm conditions in December. Temperatures averaged 50.63 degrees, 0.75 degrees above the 30-year average in East Wareham. The average monthly temperature was above normal 8 out of 12 months. The maximum temperature of 92.3 degrees for the year was recorded on July 29th. The minimum temperature of -13.0 degrees was recorded on February 21st. We started the year with 24.3 inches of snow in January, 40.3 inches in February, and 20.3 inches in March; the total snowfall for the year was 85.3 inches, 49.2 inches above the yearly average.
The official winter in East Wareham (Dec. 2014 - Feb. 2015) was cold, wet and snowy, with below average sunshine, much like the 2013-2014 winter season. Snowfall for the winter of 2013- 2014 in East Wareham was 64.6 inches, all in January and February, 37.0 inches above normal. The official spring (March-May) had slightly below average temperatures - 45.8 degrees, 0.4 degrees below average. Snowfall for the period totaled 20.3 inches (all in March), 12.8 inches above average. Despite the above average snowfall, precipitation was 8.62 inches below normal due to extremely dry conditions in April and May. Total precipitation was 8.62 inches, 5.06 inches below average. The official summer (June, July and August) was warm, dry, and sunny. The average temperature was 70.2 degrees, 1.2 degrees above the 30-year average for the 3-month period. Both July and August were above average in temperature, August equaling the 1937 record. The official fall season, Sept. – Nov. 2015, was warm, dry, and well above average for sunshine. All three months had above average sunshine hours.
By the year’s end, precipitation totaled 43.74 inches, 6.58 inches below normal, with December being the wettest month with 7.09 inches of rainfall. The driest month was May with only 0.95 inches of rain. February gave us the greatest snowfall in 2015 with 40.3 inches, with a total of 85.3 for the year. July had the highest temperature recorded for the year.
Sunshine hours for the year of 2014 totaled 55% of the possible. There were eight months with high sunshine hours and three months with low sunshine hours; January was right on the norm. Possible sunshine for the year was just 4 points below normal.
Overall, we started 2015 very cold and snowy with below-average sunshine and well above-average snowfall. The year ended warm and wet, with well below-average sunshine and snowfall.