Weather as Recorded at the UMass Cranberry Station
Prepared by Carolyn DeMoranville
Unlike last year, December 2016 was just a bit above to average in temperature and dry. The temperature averaged 35.2 degrees, 0.8 degrees per day above the 30-year average (compared to almost 14 degrees above average in 2015). Maximum temperature was 59.0 degrees on the 1st; a minimum temperature of 6.8 degrees was recorded on the 16th. Daytime high temperatures averaged 43.5 degrees, 0.8 degrees above the norm. Evening temperatures averaged 26.8 degrees, 0.6 degrees above the norm.
Precipitation totaled 3.60 inches, 0.93 inches below normal. We recorded 7 days with more than 0.1 inches of rain. The largest rainfall was 1.08 inches from the 17th to the 18th. Total rainfall for 2016 was 41.24 inches, 8.8 inches below average for East Wareham and 2.5 inches less than the total rainfall for 2015, another dry year. There was one day with measurable snow this month - about 4 inches fell on the 17th but washed away by afternoon as the precipitation turned to rain. Average snowfall for the month of December in East Wareham is 6.98 inches.
Sunshine for the month (recorded at the Blue Hills Observatory) was above average, totaling 52% of possible, 4 points above the norm. There were six days with 90% or greater sunshine hours and 5 days with no sunshine at all.
Year End Summary 2016
The year 2016 had well-below average rainfall, was even drier than 2015 and the driest year since 2004. In 2015, the extreme winter snowfall helped to mitigate drought conditions, but in 2016 there was only about half the amount of snowfall (7.5 inches above average vs. 50.8 inches above average in 2015). As a result, drought conditions became apparent by June 2016 as rainfall began to fall below average once again. For the year, rainfall in East Wareham was 8.8 inches below average and the two year period of 2015-2016 saw a total deficit of 15.1 inches. The last time we saw large rainfall deficits in consecutive years was the major drought of 1965-1966; 1965 was 19.4 inches below the norm and 1966 was 10.3 inches below, for a two year deficit of 29.7 inches.
This was another very warm year with 11 of the 12 months having average daily temperature above the norm. Only April was below normal in temperature. The average temperature for the year was 52.08 degrees, 2 degrees above the 30-year average, making this the 3rd warmest year in East Wareham since records began in 1926. We had our 7th above average July in a row and August set a new average daily temperature record for East Wareham at 74.5 degrees, surpassing the previous record of 73.7 held in 1937 and 2015.
Annual sunshine was 57% of possible at the Blue Hills Observatory, 2% above the norm.
Winter was warm and wet, spring was warm and about average in precipitation, summer and fall were warm, sunny, and very dry, and we ended the year with dry conditions in December. Temperatures for the year averaged 52.08 degrees, 2 degrees above the 30-year average in East Wareham. The average monthly temperature was above normal 11 out of 12 months. The maximum temperature for the year of 95 degrees was recorded on July 23rd. The minimum temperature of -8.5 degrees was recorded on February 14th. We had much less snow than in 2015; the total snowfall for 2016 was 42 inches, 7.5 inches above the yearly average.
The official winter in East Wareham (Dec. 2015 - Feb. 2016) was very warm and wet with snowfall and sunshine both a bit above average. Temperature for the 3 months averaged 37.3 degrees, 8.1 degrees above normal and 8.6 degrees warmer than the previous winter. Snowfall for the winter of 2015- 2016 in East Wareham was 30.6 inches, mostly in January and February, 3.5 inches above normal. The official spring (March-May) had above average temperatures - 47.4 degrees, 2.0 degrees above average. Snowfall for the period totaled 7.8 inches (all in April), 1.6 inches above average. Precipitation was 0.77 inches above normal at 12.94 inches. The official summer (June, July and August) saw the true drought begin with very warm, dry, and sunny conditions. The average temperature was 71.7 degrees, 2.5 degrees above the 30-year average for the 3-month period. All three months were above average in temperature, with August surpassing the 1937/2015 record. Total rainfall for the summer was 4.54 inches, 6.42 inches below the norm. The official fall season (Sept. – Nov.) was warm, dry, and well above average for sunshine.
By the year’s end, precipitation totaled 41.24 inches, 8.8 inches below normal, with October being the wettest month with 6.03 inches of rainfall. The driest month was June with only 1.03 inches of rain. February gave us the greatest snowfall in 2016 with 16.0 inches, with a total of 42 for the year. The highest temperature for the year was recorded in July.
Sunshine hours for the year of 2016 totaled 57% of the possible. There were nine months with high sunshine hours and two months with low sunshine hours; March was right on the norm. Possible sunshine for the year was just 2 points above normal.
Overall, we started 2016 in a rainfall deficit from 2015 but with average conditions until June when drought conditions returned. The year as a whole was warm (11 of 12 months above average and the third warmest annual average temperature in East Wareham records), with summer quite hot and a new record average temperature for August. The year ended with continued dry conditions but more seasonal temperatures.