It is the start of a new month and the start of a new season, sort of. The months of December, January and February – the cold weather months – are what we call meteorological winter. And what a way to start it!
Temperatures were cold Tuesday afternoon and barely went above freezing. The official high of 34° is the coldest for a December 1 in 10 years, and tonight we dip to the coldest level since early March.
We were well below the normal high of 43° today and even colder than the final day of the month.
In December we will lose another nine minutes of daylight, but it also turns cold with the average high of 43° on the first falling to 34° on New Year’s Eve.
Do you remember 70-degree warmth in December? It wasn’t all that long ago we topped 70-degrees. It was five years ago in 2015. In 1998, we had two 70-degree December days, most ever for the month. Overall, only six 70-degree days in December are on the record books!
The all-time warmest of 74° came in 1982, but you know this month can bring some harsh winter weather. It was just a few years later, after setting the all-time high, Indianapolis recorded an all-time low of -23° in 1989!
We are not getting that cold any time soon, but there is a real chill in the air tonight. Skies were clearing from west to east, and with area-wide clear skies by sunrise, the temperatures will dip into the low 20s, with even a few locations outlying into the teens. Wednesday will be the coldest morning since early March.
Sunshine will aid in a quick rebound in temperatures by afternoon.
SPEAKING OF SUNSHINE
November was the sunniest month of 2020! It was the only month this year that we had above normal sunshine production at 47%. The normal is 41%. We will take every bit of sunshine moving forward because December is the cloudiest month of the year.
We have bright skies in the forecast Wednesday, but new clouds will arrive Thursday as a system passes south of the state. The next eight to 10 days will feature very little precipitation and rather storm-free conditions, for now. This is rather rare for the opening month of December.
The updated December outlook is in, and the cold open does not appear to be a signal of the upcoming month. A large portion of the nation is leaning with a higher probability of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. An average December produces 3.17” of precipitation and 6.9” of snowfall. At this point, at least the first week of the month is lacking rain and snow along with no real storms. Stay tuned!