National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Overview and Graphics

December 2021 Climate Review: 

Temperatures:  Monthly average temperatures ranged from 9 to 11 degrees above normal. Many locations across our region experienced their warmest December on record, including Paducah, Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, and Carbondale. This was only the 2nd time that Paducah, KY observed a monthly departure more than 9 degrees above normal. The other occurrence was in March of 2012. High temperatures ended up around 12 to 13.5 degrees above normal, but the low temperatures only finished around 6 to 8.5 degrees above normal  There were several periods of record high temperatures through the month. The first occurred Dec 2-3, with another between Dec 10-15, and the final most pronounced one occurred Dec 24-28. All 5 of our official climate stations recorded their warmest Christmas Day on record, with temperatures ranging between 72 and 77 degrees. Some of these records were shattered by as much as 7 degrees. Poplar Bluff was within 1 degree of their all-time warmest December temperature on December 2nd when they reached 78 degrees. Paducah experienced 8 days with temperatures reaching 70 degrees, breaking the previous December record of 5 days set in 2015. A record number of days reaching 70 degrees was also set in Poplar Bluff, Carbondale, and Cape Girardeau with 6, 5, and 5 days respectively.

Precipitation: Much of the region finished near or slightly wetter than normal for December. Some of the wettest locations were observed around Cape Girardeau, MO and into the Carbondale and Vienna areas of southern Illinois. Cape Giradeau finished as their 10th wettest December on record. There was also a corridor of higher rainfall amounts focused across parts of northwest Kentucky including around the Madisonville area (6.54” at the Hopkins County mesonet 4 S of Madisonville). Some drier than normal pockets were intermixed, particularly across southern portions of the region along the KY/TN border and in the Poplar Bluff area.

Two severe weather events impacted the region during the month, one December 5-6 and another December 10-11. The latter event included a historic EF-4 tornado that left a path of destruction of 165 miles long and over 1 mile wide across western Kentucky.

The graphic below is an interpolated monthly rainfall map using actual observations. Please note that there are likely discrepancies in between observations, since the values are estimated based on nearest reports.

Map of monthly precipitation totals

December 2021 Review: Precipitation and Temperature Maps (Click on image to enlarge)
Maps of monthly precipitation, temperatures, and departures from normal
Climate Maps are from the Northeast Regional Climate Center


Monthly Summary
Monthly climate statistics for Paducah, Evansville, and Cape Girardeau
Monthly climate statistics for Poplar Bluff and Carbondale

Monthly Climate Report: Paducah  |  Evansville  |  Cape Girardeau  Poplar Bluff  |  Carbondale


Listing of records for PAH, EVV, CGI, POF, MDH.
Listing of records for PAH, EVV, CGI, POF, MDH.
Record Event Reports: Paducah Evansville  Cape Girardeau Poplar Bluff  Carbondale
Warmest December on Record
Listing of records for PAH, EVV, CGI, POF, MDH.