Weather - Precipitation

Meteorology versus Meteors

If a meteorologist studies weather, what do we call a person who studies meteors? In the days of ancient Greeks, meteorology was the study of the atmosphere, and anything that came out of it - rain, sleet, snow, hail. So, not too surprising that meteorology became the study of weather. But whatabout meteors? The science of meteors is called Meteorics. Accordingly, a student of meteors is ameteoriticist. A tongue twister to be sure.




Totals For Year 2016



Totals For Year 2015



Totals For Year 2014


Weather Discussion - April 2017

by Richard Schreiber

Spring Break Declared

I have declared a personal "Spring Break" for early May, and didn't produce my regular feature. But please don't overlook the weather summary for April below. Weather can be partly blamed for shirking my responsibilities, since we are re-staining the wood siding and decking at our home and took advantage of the mild weather.

Tucson had its 4th warmest April on record as depicted in the figure below. Their climate historical records date back to 1894. It's interesting to note the similarities with our region.

Apr2017 Tucson

Source: National Weather Service, Tucson, AZ

For detailed Tucson climate report:


Not unlike Tucson, April temperatures around Portal were well above normal, and in fact based on our ten years of historic weather data, it was the warmest April we've had the pleasure of experiencing. These conditions were a continuation of a trend that began in early February.

  • 2nd highest monthly mean temperature in ten years -- 65.5 degrees.

  • 2nd highest high temperature -- 87.4 degrees

  • 3rd highest low temperature of 39.2 degrees F. Often in April we record a few lows slightly above freezing, but this year our low was 39 degrees. January had a few days with below freezing temperatures, but since February 1, only a single day with a below freezing temperature

  • Eighteen days with above 80 degrees F. This is a record for us, although in 2012 we had 2 days with temperatures above 90
  • Similar to March, the lowest ten-year monthly heating degree days factor. Also had the 2nd highest cooling degree days factor. Assuming you keep your thermostat settings fairly constant, these factors correlate with your power requirements for heating and cooling and are a good indicator of monthly outdoor temperatures.

Although February and March are windy months, our highest wind speeds have been recorded in April and range from 42 to 62 mph, with as many as 11 days of winds above 30 mph. This year our highest April gust was 48 mph and there were 8 days with gusts exceeding 30 mph.

April provided only a trace (0.01 inch) of precipitation here on Limestone Hill and our total for 2017 was 2.54 inches. In 2010 by this time we had measured 6.31 inches of precipitation, but that amount was double any other year before or since. Even though it seems dry, statistically speaking our cumulative total for 2017 is above average for the ten-year period.



Richard Schreiber

Comments and suggestions appreciated:


Howard Topoff 2011