by John Simpson
December was relatively warm and wet. For December, I recorded 1.34 inches of rain, which is just below my eight-year average of 1.48 inches. The Tucson airport recorded 1.50 inches, which is well above its 30-year average of 0.93 inches. Much of Vail and the Tucson metro area recorded between 1-2 inches with no one area in the region dominating in rainfall. One storm affected the area from December 1st to Christmas Eve when rain fell on the 6th and 7th. From Christmas Day till the end of the year, several storm systems impacted the area with widespread rain and even some snow. I will discuss the significant snow event that occurred New Year’s Day and January 2nd next month.
For the 2018 calendar year, I recorded 14.29 inches of rain in Central Del Lago. This is the second wettest year this decade and above my 7-year average of 12.91 inches. The Tucson airport recorded 13.27 inches, which is above its 30-year average of 11.59 inches and the 28th wettest year since 1895, and wettest year since 1998. Rainlog.org shows a huge variation in 2018 rainfall around the Tucson metro area with 9-18 inches generally falling.
For the Vail area, 14-20 inches was the general rule with the lower 14-inch amounts near I-10 and Kolb and Central Del Lago and the high 20-inch amounts at Mescal. On the temperature side, December was above normal at the Tucson Airport. Much of the month was above average even though the very end of the month was very cold.
For the year, Tucson recorded its 4th warmest on record. This is the 20th straight year the airport has recorded above average temperatures for the year. 2018 was the warmest year on record through September, then a cooler than average October and November bumped it to 4th and remained that way by the end of the year. For next month’s issue I will discuss the monthly climate report for January as well as the significant snow event that occurred the first two days of the month.