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Public Information Statement

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE COLUMBIA, SC
125 PM EST WED JAN 5 2011

...TIED FOR THE 2ND COLDEST DECEMBER ON RECORD AT AUGUSTA...
...TIED FOR THE 4TH COLDEST DECEMBER ON RECORD AT COLUMBIA...
...FIRST SNOWFALL OF THE WINTER...
...ANOTHER MONTH OF BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION...

THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2010 WILL BE REMEMBERED AS ONE OF THE COLDEST 
MONTHS IN RECORDED HISTORY. DECEMBER 2010 WAS TIED FOR THE 2ND 
COLDEST ON RECORD AT AUGUSTA...WITH DECEMBER 1876. DECEMBER 2010 WAS 
TIED FOR THE 4TH COLDEST ON RECORD AT COLUMBIA...WITH DECEMBER 1963. 
THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AT AUGUSTA REGIONAL AIRPORT WAS 39.4 
DEGREES...WHICH IS 7.5 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE 
AT COLUMBIA METRO AIRPORT WAS 39.6 DEGREES...WHICH IS 7.4 DEGREES 
BELOW NORMAL. THERE WERE ONLY 4 DAYS DURING THE MONTH THAT THE 
AVERAGE DAILY TEMPERATURE WAS ABOVE NORMAL AT BOTH AUGUSTA AND 
COLUMBIA. MORNING RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES AS WELL AS LOWEST 
MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES WERE OBSERVED AT BOTH AUGUSTA AND COLUMBIA ON 
THE 8TH. AT AUGUSTA...THE MERCURY FELL TO 16 DEGREES...BREAKING THE 
PREVIOUS RECORD OF 18 SET IN 1954...THEN THE TEMPERATURE ONLY 
REACHED 37 DEGREES IN THE AFTERNOON...BREAKING THE RECORD OF 39 SET 
IN 1882. AT COLUMBIA...THE MERCURY FELL TO 16 DEGREES...BREAKING THE 
PREVIOUS RECORD OF 17 SET IN 1954...THEN THE TEMPERATURE ONLY 
REACHED 37 DEGREES IN THE AFTERNOON...BREAKING THE RECORD OF 39 
DEGREES IN 1934. SEVERAL OF THE COOP SITES REPORTED MORNING LOWS 
AROUND 10 DEGREES ON THE 8TH. HERE ARE A FEW REPORTS...PELION 9 
DEGREES...CEDAR CREEK 10 DEGREES AND CHESTERFIELD 12 DEGREES. 
ADDITIONAL RECORD COLD MORNINGS OCCURRED ON THE 14TH AND 15TH. ON 
THE 14TH...THE TEMPERATURE FELL TO 10 DEGREES AT AUGUSTA REGIONAL 
BUSH FIELD BREAKING THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 15 SET IN 1960. ON THE 
15TH...THE TEMPERATURE FELL TO 15 DEGREES AT COLUMBIA METRO AIRPORT 
BREAKING THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 16 IN 1962. EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVE IS 
LOOKING BACK AT THE COLDEST MONTHS ON RECORD AT BOTH AUGUSTA AND 
COLUMBIA. SINCE RECORDS BEGAN AT AUGUSTA IN 1874...DECEMBER 2010 WAS 
TIED FOR THE 8TH COLDEST MONTH ON RECORD. SINCE RECORDS BEGAN AT 
COLUMBIA IN 1887...DECEMBER 2010 WAS TIED FOR THE 16TH COLDEST MONTH 
ON RECORD. THE COLD WEATHER WAS A COMBINATION OF A PERSISTENT TROUGH 
OF LOW PRESSURE ACROSS THE EASTERN HALF OF THE COUNTRY THAT ALLOWED 
A NEARLY CONTINUAL FLOW OF COLD CANADIAN AIR INTO THE SOUTHEAST. THE 
OTHER FACTOR WAS A PERSISTENT NEGATIVE NAO...NORTH ATLANTIC 
OSCILLATION...DURING DECEMBER. STRONG NEGATIVE VALUES OF THE NAO ARE 
ASSOCIATED WITH BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE EASTERN PORTION 
OF THE COUNTRY. 

A STRONG COLD FRONT MOVED ACROSS THE REGION ON THE MORNING OF THE 
12TH AND COLD CANADIAN HIGH PRESSURE BUILD TOWARD THE REGION. THE 
PRESSURE GRADIENT BETWEEN THESE TWO SYSTEMS PRODUCED STRONG WIND 
GUSTS ACROSS THE REGION. HERE ARE A FEW REPORTS...FLOTILLA ISLAND 47 
MPH...LAKE THURMOND...44 MPH...COLUMBIA METRO AIRPORT 43 
MPH...ORANGEBURG COUNTY AIRPORT 43 MPH...AUGUSTA REGIONAL BUSH FIELD 
40 MPH AND SHAW AFB 40 MPH.

THE FIRST SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON OCCURRED DURING THE LATE EVENING OF 
THE 25TH INTO THE 26TH AS AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE TRACKED FROM THE 
GULF OF MEXICO ACROSS NORTHERN FLORIDA AND NORTHEAST ALONG THE EAST 
COAST. THE SYSTEM STRENGTHENED RAPIDLY ALONG THE CAROLINA COAST ON 
THE MORNING OF THE 26TH. THE EVENT BEGAN HAS RAIN ACROSS THE REGION 
ON THE 25TH...BUT GRADUALLY CHANGED OVER TO SNOW FROM WEST TO EAST 
DURING THE EVENING OF THE 25TH INTO THE 26TH. SNOWFALL TOTALS FOR 
THE EVENT RANGED FROM 1 TO 3 INCHES ACROSS THE NORTHERN PORTION OF 

THE CENTRAL SAVANNAH RIVER AREA...WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS ACROSS 
LINCOLN COUNTY. SNOWFALL TOTALS ACROSS THE CENTRAL MIDLANDS RANGED 
FROM 1 TO 4 INCHES...WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS IN PORTIONS OF 
LEXINGTON COUNTY ESPECIALLY THE IRMO AND CHAPIN AREAS. SNOWFALL 
TOTALS ACROSS THE NORTHERN MIDLANDS RANGED FROM  2 TO 5 
INCHES...WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS IN PORTIONS OF LANCASTER AND 
FAIRFIELD COUNTIES.  

TEMPERATURES WHERE MUCH BELOW NORMAL ACROSS THE REGION. THE AVERAGE 
TEMPERATURES AT COLUMBIA METRO AIRPORT WAS 36.9 DEGREES...OR 7.4 
DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE AT AUGUSTA REGIONAL 
BUSH FIELD WAS 39.4 DEGREES...OR 7.5 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. 

THE PRECIPITATION TOTAL AT COLUMBIA METRO AIRPORT WAS 1.40 INCHES OR 
1.98 INCHES BELOW NORMAL. THE PRECIPITATION TOTAL AT AUGUSTA 
REGIONAL BUSH FIELD WAS 1.17 INCHES OR 1.97 INCHES BELOW NORMAL. 

RAINFALL AVERAGED FROM 1 TO 3 INCHES ACROSS THE MIDLANDS AND CENTRAL 
SAVANNAH RIVER AREA FOR THE MONTH. 


AUGUSTA BUSH FIELD 2009/2010 PRECIPITATION...

                    TOTAL       NORMAL      DIFFERENCE  
                  (INCHES)  
DECEMBER 2009       8.97         3.14         +5.83 
JANUARY             5.39         4.50         +0.89 
FEBRUARY            2.37         4.11         -1.74 
MARCH               3.20         4.61         -1.41 
APRIL               1.20         2.94         -1.74 
MAY                 1.36         3.07         -1.71 
JUNE                2.19         4.19         -2.00  
JULY                5.86         4.07         +1.79 
AUGUST              2.04         4.48         -2.44 
SEPTEMBER           1.89         3.59         -1.70 
OCTOBER             0.67         3.20         -2.53 
NOVEMBER            1.30         2.68         -1.38 
DECEMBER 2010       1.17         3.14         -1.97


COLUMBIA METRO AIRPORT 2009/2010 PRECIPITATION...

                    TOTAL       NORMAL      DIFFERENCE
                  (INCHES)
DECEMBER 2009       9.31         3.38         +5.93 
JANUARY             3.18         4.66         -1.48  
FEBRUARY            2.88         3.84         -0.96 
MARCH               2.34         4.59         -2.25     
APRIL               0.91         2.98         -2.07  
MAY                 2.10         3.17         -1.07 
JUNE                4.20         4.99         -0.79 
JULY                7.70         5.54         +2.16 
AUGUST              5.56         5.41         +0.15 
SEPTEMBER           1.94         3.94         -2.00 
OCTOBER             1.83         2.89         -1.06 
NOVEMBER            1.46         2.88         -1.42
DECEMBER 2010       1.40         3.38         -1.98    


TEMPERATURE RECORDS FOR COLUMBIA GO BACK TO 1887 AND FOR AUGUSTA  
BACK TO 1874. PRECIPITATION RECORDS FOR COLUMBIA GO BACK TO 1878 
AND FOR AUGUSTA BACK TO 1871.

VAUGHAN


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