Local weather observer says be ready

First Posted: 1/23/2015

LIMA — According to area data collected, the 2014-2015 winter season has been very comparable to last season — other than the amount of snow.

Official weather observer Guy Verhoff, who keeps statistics for the Lima area, said temperatures currently are not varying much from last season. In the 2013-2014 winter season, the area averaged 38.3 degrees in November, 28.8 in December, and 17.6 in January. This year, those numbers have were 35.9 for November and 29.6 for December. Through Jan. 22, the area has had an average of 19.8.

Verhoff said the huge difference has been the snowfall. Last winter, the snowfall was 1.5 inches, 14.3 and 20.2 for the three months. This year, those numbers have 3.9, 0, and 9.7 for January so far. The total snowfall this year of 13.6 so far is 62 percent lower than last year.

Verhoff said that while the official total for December this year was zero, that traces of snow did happen but were not up to a calculable amount. He added that while a total of zero in that month is somewhat of a rarity, it simply makes the wide variety of weather that can affect any area in any year.

“Anyone that says they can dictate some kind of pattern,” Verhoff said, “then I would be suspicious of their credibility. There are too many variables for someone to play God. There never really are trends.”

Verhoff said people hoping they can see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as winter is concerned should not put away the winter wear just yet.

“Last year, we had 21.2 inches of snow in February,” Verhoff said. “We were 10 degrees below average for February last season. The month was a bit of a kick in the teeth in the area. It is far from over.”

Verhoff added that there were nine days below zero November to January last season, as compared to six this year. The coldest day was -15 degrees on Jan. 6 and 7. However, the winter extended into February with seven more below zero days and one below zero day in March. The lowest recorded temperature this winter season so far has been -8 on Jan. 6.

“It is impossible to try and predict the winter for an entire season,” Verhoff said. “We don’t have a crystal ball, or in this case a snow ball, that can see that far ahead.”