Winter 2004/05 Summary & Summer 2005 Outlook
By: Victor J. Nouhan, Climate Team Leader
Prior to the beginning of the
winter season, the winter outlook issued by the
What verified for the
December through February period was quite interesting. Across the north, mean
seasonal temps averaged about one degree F above normal. Snowfall and liquid
equivalent was average to above average, with the highest totals across the far
northwest and the
This doubled banded snow maximum reflected two significantly different storm tracks that were active over different portions of the winter. During the early phase of winter when there was little influence from weak El-Nino conditions, a storm track west of the region through the Saint Lawrence Valley was favored, which resulted mostly in rain across Downeast Maine and snow changing to rain across most of northern Maine, except the Allagash and the Saint John Valley, where enough cold air remained in place for mostly all snow events.
Greater influence from
El-Nino during the second half of the winter, allowed for a further south
coastal low track and more significant to heavy snow events for Downeast areas.
From a liquid equivalent precipitation/snowfall standpoint, if the snow season
ended at the conclusion of February, the outlook would have verified well. But
as often is the case, storm tracks change going into spring transition months,
and this was the case during the first half of March, which featured several
major snow events affecting the entire region, resulting in seasonal snowfall ending
up at or above normal for nearly all of the region by the end of the snow
season (which extends through April). This last burst of late winter snowfalls,
which bolstered maximum mid March snow pack depths up to 50 inches across the
Overall, the winter of 2004/05
will be remembered for its changeable, and at times, very stormy character.