This Week’s Weather Quiz

1. Normally in the month of December, we should have nine days that reach freezing or below. As of Dec. 23, 2007, how many have I recorded freezing or below this December? (a) none (b) only two days (c) three days (d) four days

2. Can you guess the weather conditions in Ennis last New Year’s Eve Day 2006? (a) low – 38 degrees; high – 51 degrees. Clear and cool. (b) low – 24 degrees; high – 34 degrees. Cloudy, cold and windy (c) low – 59 degrees; high – 74 degrees. Clear and mild. (d) low – 44 degrees; high – 54 degrees. Cloudy and cool with occasional rain and 0.37 of an inch of rain.

3. Can you guess the weather conditions in Ennis last New Year’s Day 2007? (a) low – 58 degrees; high – 82 degrees. Partly cloudy, windy and unusually warm. (b) low – 32 degrees; high – 49 degrees. Clear and cold. (c) low – 48 degrees; high – 58 degrees. Mostly cloudy and cool. (d) low – 52 degrees; high – 63 degrees. Cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms and 1.23 inches of rain.

4. During the last 33 years of keeping weather observations and records here in Ennis, what’s the coldest temperature that I have recorded in the month of December? (a) 5 above zero (b) 2 above zero (c) minus 1 degrees (d) minus 4 degrees.

5. The following four rainfall totals are the correct totals I have recorded for each of the last four months, August, September, October and November. Can you match the correct total with the correct month? (a) 0.29 of an inch (b) 0.89 of an inch (c) 1.56 inches (d) 3.96 inches.

Weather Highlights:

And Here’s Another Cold Blast From The Past

Last week I told you about “the December Deep Freeze of 1983,” when the temperature fell below freezing and remained below freezing for 12 consecutive days in Ennis. This week let’s look back at my weather observations of another cold blast from the past.

This one, of course, wasn’t as long of duration as the record setting “December Deep Freeze of 1983,” but, this one got our attention in a hurry.

Let’s go way back to the date of Dec, 30, 1976. It was a very windy day with a south southwest wind 15 to 25 mph. The low temperature was 47 degrees, and about 3 p.m. the temperature reached a high of 70 degrees with fair skies. A pleasant day, at least for Dec. 30, but, suddenly the wind shifted to the north.

A cold front had entered the area with strong north winds 20 to 30 mph with gust to 45 mph. and the temperature began to drop, and drop it did. By 10 p.m. the temperature had plunged to a cold 20 degrees. Remember, the high temperature was 70 degrees earlier in the day. The north wind was gusting 20 to 30 mph. The wind chill was brutal.

At 1 a.m., Dec. 31, 1976, the temperature was a frigid 16 degrees, and dropped to a low of 13 degrees on Dec. 31, 1976. That’s a 57 degree drop in temperature. The temperature at 10 a.m. December 31 was still a cold 18 degrees.

Some new record low temperatures were set for Dec. 31, 1976. They are Dallas – 14 degrees, Houston – 27 degrees, Midland – 14 degrees, Austin – 20 degrees and Wichita Falls – 9 degrees.

Jan. 1, 1977, the low was 19 degrees with a high of 35 degrees. A winter storm watch was issued for the night of Jan. 1, 1977. Clouds increased in the afternoon and it was cloudy by evening. The temperature was 32 degrees and dropped to 29 degrees by 9 p.m. Freezing rain and sleet began about 7:30 p.m. Jan. 1.

A winter storm warning was issued due to icing on bridges, roads, and trees. Jan. 2, occasional sleet began at 8 a.m. but ended at 9:30 a.m. A glaze of ice was on trees and ground. Ice was on bridges and overpasses.

The low temperature was 29 degrees on Jan. 3 and the high reached 36 degrees with cloudy skies. The low on Jan. 4 was 38 degrees but a quick warm-up to 62 degrees put an end to this cold blast from the past, or did it.

More cold weather would return several times the rest of January 1977, and more ice, along with hail, thunder, and freezing rain, and one inch of ice, but perhaps that may be a later topic for another “Cold Blast from the Past.”

Ennis Temperatures and Rainfall for the week of Dec. 17-23, 2007:

The normal low temperature for this time of year is 36 degrees. The normal high temperature for this time of year is 56 degrees.

Monday, Dec. 17 – low temperature 32 degrees; high temperature 54 degrees. Rainfall – 0.00 of an inch.

Tuesday, Dec. 18 – low temperature 41 degrees; high temperature 70 degrees. Rainfall – 0.00 of an inch. Maximum wind gust 31 mph.

Wednesday, Dec. 19 – low temperature 41 degrees; high temperature 67 degrees. Rainfall – 0.00 of an inch.

Thursday, Dec. 20 – low temperature 47 degrees; high temperature 66 degrees. Rainfall – 0.00 of an inch. Maximum wind gust 31 mph,

Friday, Dec. 21 – low temperature 39 degrees; high temperature 69 degrees. Rainfall – 0.00 of an inch.

Saturday, Dec. 22 – low temperature  degrees; high temperature  degrees. Rainfall – 0.00 of an inch.

Sunday, Dec. 23 – low temperature  degrees; high temperature  degrees. Rainfall – 0.00 of an inch.

Temperature Range and Total Rainfall for the week of Dec. 17-23, 2007:

The coldest temperature 32 degrees on Dec. 17. The warmest temperature 70 degrees on Dec. 18. Total rainfall Dec. 17-23 – 0.00 of an inch.

Rainfall for month and Year:

Rainfall Dec. 1-23 – 1.79 inches. Normal rainfall for all of December – 3.71 inches. Rainfall so far this year, January through Dec. 23 – 48.52 inches. Normal rainfall January through December – 40.56 inches.

Weather Flashbacks for Dec. 17-23:

Dec. 17, 1979 – low temperature 17 degrees; high temperature 39 degrees. Clear and cold.

Dec. 17, 2006 – low temperature 63 degrees; high temperature 78 degrees. Partly cloudy, windy and mild.

Dec. 18, 1981 – low temperature 17 degrees; high temperature 45 degrees. Clear and cold.

Dec. 18, 1996 – low temperature 21 degrees; high temperature 32 degrees. Clear, windy and freezing cold.

Dec. 20, 1989 – low temperature 17 degrees; high temperature 40 degrees. Clearing and cold.

Dec. 22, 1998 – low temperature 22 degrees; high temperature 27 degrees. Cloudy and freezing cold. The high temperature the day before, December 21, was 66 degrees about noon.

Dec. 23, 1998 – low temperature 26 degrees; high temperature 30 degrees. Cloudy and freezing cold. Freezing drizzle was falling in the morning. Some overpasses and bridges were icing in the area. A very thin glaze of ice was on grass and cars. Roads were mostly clear of ice.

This Week’s Small Texas Town Salute:

Center Point – population 41, located in Camp County in east Texas.

Drasco – population 20, located in Runnels County in west central Texas.

Eureka – population 18, located in Franklin County in northeast Texas.

Fredonia – population 50, located in Mason County in southeast Texas.

Grow – population 70, located in King County in northeast Texas.

Hiram – population 34, located in Kaufman County in north central Texas.

Lingleville – population 100, located in Erath County in west central Texas.

Answers to this week’s Weather Quiz:

1. B – As of Dec. 23, 2007 I have recorded only two days that reached freezing or below this December.

2. A – The weather conditions that I recorded in Ennis last New Years Eve Day were the low – 38 degrees; the high – 51 degrees. Clear and cool.

3. B – The weather conditions that I recorded in Ennis last New Years Day 2007 were the low – 32 degrees; the high – 49 degrees. Clear and cold.

4. D – The coldest temperature that I have recorded during the last 33 years is minus 4 degrees on Dec. 23, 1989.

5. A – 0.29 of an inch is the total rainfall that I recorded for August (b) 0.89 of an inch – October (c) 1.56 inches – November (d) 3.96 inches – September.