AREA SEASONAL CLIMATE NARRATIVE
The period of meteorological winter (December 1st-February 28th)for northern and Downeast Maine
will be remembered for above...But changeable temperatures...near normal precipitation...slightly
above average snowfall and below normal snow depth.
Temperatures across the region averaged nearly uniformly 2 to 3 degrees above average across the
area. At Caribou (Bangor)...this winter season which averaged 16.9 (22.9) degrees finished as the
12th (14th) warmest...not even close to the warmest winter season on record of 21.0
(29.4) degrees recorded in 2009/2010 (1936/37).
Liquid equivalent precipitation...although averaging near normal for the region as a whole...did
show some regional variability ranging...for instance...from about 75 percent of normal at Bangor to
110 percent of normal at Caribou. Some locations along the Downeast coast received up to 125 percent
of normal. The 6.50 inch total for Bangor was the 13th driest winter season on record there...with
3.06 inches recorded in 1948 the driest.
Snowfall this season generally ranged from 100 to 140 percent of normal...with the highest
percentages across locations receiving the greatest storm totals from one or multiple heavy snow
events. Despite above average snowfall this winter season...average snow depth was decidedly below
normal...especially across the north where a couple of January thaws ravaged the snow pack...with
some places nearly having to start from scratch at the beginning of February. Due to series of
storms in February...each with varying impacts across different portions of the region...snow pack
depth was able to briefly reach near normal seasonal maximum values right at the close of the month.
With all snow events and thaws considered...at Caribou...the 6 inch snow depth average for the
season was tied for 5th lowest with 5 other winter seasons compared to the leanest average snow
depth winter season of 3 inches recorded in the December through February period of 1961/62. The
relatively thin snow pack across the north did have some impact on restricting snow mobile and
skiing activities at times this season.
Memorable events this winter included the heavy coastal Downeast snowstorm of December 29th and
30th...record high temperatures Reaching into the 50s over portions of the region on January
14th...30th and 31st which sandwiched a very cold period between January 21st and 26th. Other high
impact events include the great February 8th and 9th New England snowstorm which affected
particularly Downeast areas...the Downeast and northeast Maine blizzard of February 16th and 17th
and the northeast Maine heavy snowstorm of February 28th.