Winter was 20th mildest for U.S., 15th warmest for Md.

  • Temperatures were slightly above normal for the eastern two-thirds of the country this meteorological winter.
Temperatures were slightly above normal for the eastern two-thirds… (National Climatic Data…)
March 14, 2013|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

The average temperature across the country was almost 2 degrees above normal this meteorological winter, ranking as 20th-mildest in the past 118 years, according to climatologists. In Maryland, the winter was even more of an aberration, ranking 15th-mildest.

For December through February, all states east of the Rocky Mountains saw above-normal temperatures, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's State of the Climate report. The average temperature for the nation was 34.3 degrees over the period.

In Maryland, perceptions may have been that the winter was a cold one -- it included some of the lowest temperatures in years, including four straight days that did not rise above freezing. It also came after one of the mildest winters on record in 2011-2012.

But on balance, the winter was still relatively mild. At Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the average winter temperature of 38.2 degrees was 3 degrees above normal.

Precipitation was meanwhile at normal levels across the country, and in Maryland. The snow cover extent of 1.3 million square miles was 15th largest on record.

The nationally averaged precipitation total of 7.1 inches was about two-thirds of an inch above normal, according to the report.

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