As I noted in my blog yesterday, we are in an El Niño pattern. With that said, I decided to look up some other notable El Niño Winters in Region 8. Here's some climate data from the Winter of 1986-1987. These records were kept by Terry Wood at KAIT and give us a glimpse of what the winter was like under that El Niño season. Keep in mind, this El Niño was stronger.
This first page is December of 1986. On this page, I do not see anything abnormal or shocking about this month... Click to enlarge.
We start to see some interesting things in January of 1987. Some of the more noteworthy things include the snowfall on January 3rd. Jonesboro had a 3" snowfall, but Terry noted that 8-10" of snow fell near Salem! That's a decent snowfall! There was also a wintry event on the 24th where we had a little freezing rain and some slick roads, but note that the precip total was only 0.01". Not what we would consider an "ice storm". One last thing to note is the variable temperatures. On the 26th, the morning low was 18°, but three days later it was 74° in the afternoon! That's wild. Click image to enlarge.
Now let's look February of 1987. The shocker to me was that we never made it into the teens for overnight lows. The only wintry event was a 2" wet snowfall on the 17th.
I was going to stop at February, but wanted to check March out of curiosity and I'm glad I did! Look at the late season snowfall on March 30th! Terry noted 3" of wet snow. Click image to enlarge.One trend I see during the 86-87 Winter was wet snowfalls. While overnight lows were not drastically cold as far as extremes, they were steadily cool at times. For example, there were 13 days at or below 40° in January for highs.
Coming up, I'm going to take a look at the 97-98 Winter.