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"This winter looks to be warmer and wetter than average."
Yep. I wrote those words, published on the front page of the Central Kentucky News-Journal in late November.
But before you start lobbing tomatoes - or snowballs - at me, I didn't make the prediction. It was a state hydrologist who said, based on a Pacific Ocean pattern, this winter could be warmer and wetter than average. I repeat, "could be."
Have you ever tried to predict the weather in Kentucky?
Wetter? Sure. Warmer? That remains to be seen.
Predictions can miss the mark, but numbers never lie. And the numbers from the local Kentucky Mesonet (a Godsend for weather fanatics such as myself) show that this winter got off to a chilly start before warming. I repeat, "warming."
This past December was colder than last. In December 2010, the average high was 36.2 degrees according to the Kentucky Mesonet station. The average high in December 2009 was 44.5.
The average low for December 2010 was 22.6 degrees, quite bit cooler than 2009's 28.2 degrees. My fingers just went numb typing that.
In all, the average daily temperature in December was a frigid 29.4 degrees. At least the daily average for 2009 was above freezing - 36.4.
January has certainly been wetter, but, though it may not feel like it, it has also been warmer than last January.
For the first 17 days of this month, the average high has been 36.3 degrees, while the average low was 19.3. The average daily temperature was 27.8.
For the same time period last year, the average high was 32.3 degrees, the average low was 15.8 and the average daily temperature was 24.
Score one for the hydrologist and can the snide remarks at my expense. After a rough start, it is looking like this winter could be warmer than last. And remember, even a degree warmer is still warmer.
According to the latest National Weather Service forecast, we'll end this week bitterly cold with the high on Friday clocking in at a bone-chilling 21 degrees. That won't help any warming trend.
Of course, a lot could change between now and the last day of winter. Such is the problem with trying to predict these things.
The weather around here changes like ... well, it changes like the weather.