>> Wednesday, March 3, 2010
It's been kind of slow in the office this week and I have started to get antsy to work on some kind of a project (since the weather isn't cooperating for any photo possibilities). I've been saying for months that it seems like our winter has been strikingly similar to Seattle's and I wanted to know how our precipitation numbers compared (yes, I'm a geeky statistics lover). It also seems like this has been a ridiculously cold winter for South Carolina. I'm allowed to say that since I should think it's much warmer than average having lived in a colder state for the past 4 years.
Alas, let the number speak for themselves. Turns out, it is both as wet and cold (actually colder the beginning of this year) in Columbia as it is in Seattle. Of course I've only calculated data through February so keep that in mind.
I got all of my info from NOAA and the Country Studies website (in case you want to fact check :)
So the first thing you notice from this graph is that the precipitation totals for this year are wacky for both Columbia and Seattle. Observing the blue and red lines ("normal" precipitation levels), you notice steady curves of increasing precipitation towards the end of the year. You will also notice that Seattle normally averages much more precipitation than Columbia.
This year, however, there are great peaks above average for both Columbia and Seattle between November and December. There are also major drops in precipitation in November and January for Seattle. Columbia only dips below average in January and February, but only by an inch.
Closer look at wacky precipitation levels for this year.
The bar graph shows the usual precipitation levels of Columbia and Seattle in the winter, with Seattle averaging about 2 inches more precipitation per year. This year, both cities had higher precipitation levels and Columbia rose very close to Seattle's monthly average.
However, annually, Columbia rakes in much more precipitation than Seattle. This year both cities were slightly above average (which is good news for our drought-stricken farmers).
This year has also been unusual according to temperature. Columbia's average temperature has dropped two degrees from the average (normally 51.6 degrees, this year 49.14). Seattle, however, is slightly warmer this year than average (46.1 degrees compared to 44.5 average). The graph above shows Columbia's monthly temperature dropping below Seattle's for the months of January and February.
Everyone who said Columbia's winter has been colder than normal is right, especially in 2010.
Finally, I give you the ultimate reason why I should be living in Seattle. Summer!
Let's recap. If we've 1) gotten as much rain as Seattle this year and 2) had colder temperatures for half of the winter, it should conclude that our summer should follow suit, right? I mean... if our winters all of the sudden look like Seattle's, shouldn't our summers?
Well.. unfortunately I've heard this summer is going to most likely be much warmer than usual (someone please back me up with some figure). Not that I hate summer heat, I will take heat over cold ANY DAY. I'm just sayin'.. if it's already going to be as cold and wet here as it is in Seattle, I just figure I should be allowed to have a piece of those humid-less, perfect sunny days by the coast.
In conclusion, this winter might just be really wacky and those beautiful 70* winter days will be back next year. Who knows. For now.. on these cold, windy days, I'll be dreaming of Seattle. Coffee, seafood, art, music... heck yeah!
*I truly hope these figures were at all helpful or interesting to someone. If not, I would have done it for fun regardless. I know, I'm weird. :P