December to remember

Monday, January 3, 2011

Photo of Bob Weisman, meteorologist and professor of earth and atmospheric science

Bob Weisman, meteorologist and professor of earth and atmospheric science. Photo by Neil Andersen for University Communications.

December 2010 will go down as the wettest December in St. Cloud's recorded history, according to Bob Weisman, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences.

Precipitation records, which date back to 1893, show that the 2.55 inches of melted precipitation at St. Cloud Regional Airport beat the 2.04 inches recorded in 1969.

The new record is almost four times higher than the normal December precipitation of 0.69 inches.

Four significant storms led to the new record.

The first snowfall of the year on Dec. 3-4 produced .42 inches of liquid and 5.0 inches of snow.

St. Cloud got clipped by a huge Twin Cities blizzard on Dec. 10-11. This storm dumped up to 20-21 inches in Red Wing and the eastern Twin Cities suburbs and led to the collapse of the Metrodome roof. The storm produced 0.38 inch of melted precipitation locked up in 5.3 inches of snow in St. Cloud. That 5.3 inches set a new Dec. 11 record for daily snowfall.

The third major precipitation event was on Dec. 20, when 3.3 inches of snow and 0.53 inches of liquid fell on St. Cloud.

The biggest precipitation event was a heavy rainstorm on Dec. 30. St. Cloud picked up .82 inch of straight rain.

The storm ranks as the third heaviest 24-hour December precipitation event in St. Cloud records, behind the 1.07 inches on Dec. 25, 1893 and the 0.91 inch on Dec. 1, 1945.

Weisman holds a doctorate from University at Albany, State University of New York. He is a frequent source for media outlets seeking predictions about weather emergencies and historical perspective on weather events.

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