Rare warmth

| December 10, 2007 @ 3:50 pm | 2 Replies

For statistics buffs, here is something neat. The 3 pm temperature in BHM is 78 degrees. Even if the temperature did not climb to 79 between observations today, and the high was 78, that puts us in rare territory. The old record for December 10 was broken by plenty. But looking back at high temperatures for every day in the month of December since 1895 (over 3,400 days), there have only been 9 days on which the temperature reached 78 or warmer, for a probability of 0.25%. Below is a graph of the number of times each integer high temperature has been reached in December (1895-2006).


The average high temperature for December has been 55.6 degrees. The median (50th percentile, meaning half of all days have been cooler and half have been warmer) is 55. Also marked are the 10th, 25th, 75th, and 90th percentiles.

Incidentally, this curve fits fairly well into what statisticians call a “normal distribution”, with average 55.6 and standard deviation of 10.2 degrees. Standard deviation gives an idea of how much the highs have varied from the average.

And yet, take a look at temp contours across the southern U.S. at 3 pm. What a front.


There is no reason we shouldn’t be about as warm tomorrow and Wednesday, unless an area of clouds rolls in and holds temps down. But, like James mentions, colder air comes in by Friday and the weekend.


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  1. Bill in Vigo says:

    very warm here in Vigo today with 78.1 for a high and 49.6 for a low current temp is 68.5 and no rain.

  2. Matt Padgett says:

    Hello J.B.,

    Ice storms are definitely not a lot of fun. I’m sure they would rather have 1-2 feet of snow instead at those temperatures. 1-2 inches of freezing rain with those temperatures spells a disaster for those in the middle part of the country. I sure hope things improve for them. The cold is nice but ice is not. I haven’t heard any reports on how much snow fell in the Rocky’s this past weekend. I did see on the news where Salt Lake City,Utah had a nice snow. Matt Marshall, if your reading this give us an update on the weather situation there in Utah. How much snow did you receive this weekend? Your report’s are always interesting.

    J.B. and readers: Question of the day, I may have asked this before but just for giggles I will ask it again. I think we all know the highest elevation here in Alabama is Mt.Cheaha with an elevation just over 2,400 feet. My question: If we had an mountain range here in Alabama from say Mt.Cheaha to Norteast Alabama with elevations ranging from 7,000 to 10,000 feet, How much snow would those areas receive? Do you think we would have some ski resorts?

    J.B., Bill Murray, Tim Coleman, James Spann,Ashley Brand,Jason Simpson,Brian Peters and the rest of the weather team for ABC33/40 and all of the readers who visit here on the blog please give your opinion. Remember just a hypothetical question but still fun to think about. Thanks for any replies! Everyone have a great day! I have another interesting question tomorrow so stay tuned.


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