2010 Climate Rankings

You may have already seen the headlines about how 2010 shaped up weatherwise on global and national level.  If not, it once again was a warm one around the world, taking the top spot as the warmest year on record, tied with 2005. Overall the global temp worked out to being 57F, which was 1.12F above average. On a more national level, the contiguous U.S. had the 23rd warmest year on record with the average temperature being 53.8F, or 1F above average.  On a good note, drought conditions were at a record low kicking off the summer before expanding as the the hottest part of the year went along.  This at least cut down on widespread wildfires flaring up, particularly in the western U.S.  On the flip side, 2 blizzards slammed the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. in February, while flooding rains impacted Nashville and Milwaukee during the spring and summer.  More on how that large surplus of rain in SE Wisconsin affected the state rankings for the year in just a bit.

Meantime, when it came to severe weather, we certainly had our fair share.  Wisconsin finished off 2010 with the 2nd most twisters at 46.  This was only behind the total of 62 set in 2005.  Our neighbors to the west in Minnesota were pounded with severe weather, setting a state record of 104 tornadoes, which put it near the top of the list for any state in 2010.  Also notable during the summer season was that although there were a total of 19 named storms in the Atlantic Basin, no hurricanes made landfall in the U.S. Only Tropical Storm Bonnie did manage to cross the coastline. 

Here is the overall summary of how things ranked from January to December 2010, based on temperatures and precipitation.

Focusing in on Wisconsin, you'll note that it was the 6th warmest & 2nd wettest year on record.  Wausau along with many other locations in the state finished off the year with a surplus of precipitation for the first time in many years.  That deluge of rain that fell with storms back in July in SE Wisconsin certainly helped to elevate the ranking for the state.  Temperatures meanwhile were warm, especially considering Wausau had 9 out of 12 months that were above average.  The spring of 2010 in Wisconsin will go down as the 2nd warmest that we experienced, while the summer of 2010 was the wettest since 1895.  June & July locally were the most active months of severe weather, while our biggest snowfall of the year took place on December 11th with 12.8" (2nd most ever on a day) in Wausau, while locally totals ranged from 6-22".  For more details on these events, be sure to look back on my previous blogs from 2010 here on the webchannel.

Those are just a few of the highlights on the climate of the weather in 2010.  For a much more in-depth breakdown, check out the full report, including maps and statistics from the National Climatic Data Center.

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