White Christmas cold but not a record breaker

For those dreaming of a white Christmas, it was a wish come true with plenty of the white stuff falling for the holiday and throughout the later part of the month.

Minchow’s Service employee Ryan Scheeler shovels snow on the sidewalk and driveway next to the station in downtown Lovell Monday morning after a snowstorm hit the area Sunday night. Bitter temperatures are expected to continue for several days.
David Peck photo

According to meteorologist Chris Hattings with the National Weather Service in Riverton, the amount of snowfall was “slightly” above average for the month, based on numerous accounts submitted by weather spotters in the area. He said, since the reports were intermittent, he was not able to give an exact snow depth, but it was “definitely more than usual.”

The cold temperatures sustained throughout the month helped keep the white stuff around, keeping the town abuzz with the sound of snow blowers and snow plows, especially toward the end of the month and into the New Year.

In Lovell, though not a record, an average temperature of 14.5 degrees for the month was definitely one of the coldest Decembers Lovell residents have experienced in a decade, said Hattings. The coldest day of the month took place on Dec. 17, with lows in the minus 23 range. Though it may have seemed worse to some, there were actually only four days of subzero temperatures during the month, mostly clustered in the latter part of the month, noted Hattings.

According to NWS records, the average temperature in Lovell a year ago in December was a balmy 23.4 degrees. It was slightly colder in previous years with a 19.4 degree average in 2014 and a 16.5 degree average in 2013. December of 1919 still holds the record for the coldest average temperature for the month at 5.6 degrees.

Hattings said the cold air was carried into the area on an Arctic front and lingered due to lack of wind to blow it out of the area. He said the climate prediction center of NWS is forecasting close to average temperatures for the remainder of the winter and slightly above average snow levels to continue.

By Patti Carpenter